Comparison of Traditional Bone-Conduction Hearing Aids with the Baha System

Christensen, Lisa; Smith-Olinde, Laura; Kimberlain, Jillian; Richter, Gresham T.; Dornhoffer, John L.
April 2010
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology;Apr2010, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p267
Academic Journal
Background: Little research exists to demonstrate efficacy and verification measures of the Baha® system versus traditional bone-conduction hearing aids. This study gives statistical data about 10 children who have used traditional bone-conduction hearing aids, Baha coupled to a Softband, and the Baha system implanted. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare functional gain at 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz for infants and children with bilateral conductive hearing loss who were initially fit with traditional bone-conduction devices then progressed to Baha with Softband and finally to unilateral Baha implants. Research Design: Retrospective five-year chart review. Study Sample: 10 children with bilateral conductive hearing loss due to congenital atresia and/or microtia. Participants ranged in age from 6 mo to 16 yr; three were male and seven were female. Two participants were African-American, five Caucasian, and three Hispanic. Intervention: The intervention was the Baha system used in children via a Softband or implanted as compared to traditional bone-conduction hearing aids. Data Collection and Analysis: Single-factor, repeated analyses of variance were run to examine the amount of functional gain delivered by the various devices as well as the threshold measures with each device at each frequency. Results: Participants in this study showed a statistically significant improvement when using the Baha Softband over traditional bone-conduction hearing aids. An implanted Baha has statistically as much gain as a bone-conduction transducer at all frequencies tested. Conclusions: The Baha system is a valid treatment in conductive hearing loss via a Softband or implanted. It statistically outperforms the traditional bone-conduction hearing aids and should be used as a first choice in intervention rather than a last option for inoperable conductive hearing loss.


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