Aim of the project
The final utilisation goal of this TBM-project is to limit the impact of a vestibular dysfunction on the (motor) development of children. Since hearing-impaired children have a higher risk for deficits of the vestibular (balance) organ, we will focus on this vulnerable group.This will be accomplished by:
The implementation of a standard vestibular screening protocol in Flanders in hearing-impaired children at the age of 6 months, enabling early diagnosis of vestibular deficits and adequate referral for extensive vestibular testing, motor assessment and rehabilitation.
Increasing the awareness for vestibular dysfunctions and its associated symptoms in hearing-impaired children among parents, teachers, paramedics, specialists and other social workers who are in close contact with hearing-impaired children. This should go hand in hand with more effective patient care, because adequate therapy will start sooner.
The following scientific objectives will facilitate the achievement of the final utilisation goals:
Determination of the prevalence of vestibular deficits among congenitally hearing-impaired children in Flanders at the age of 6 months, based on the results of the cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential (cVEMP) technique.
Determination of the sensitivity of the cVEMP as a screening test in detecting vestibular dysfunctions in hearing-impaired children at the age of 6 months, which will be achieved by comparing the results of the cVEMP with the results of a more extensive vestibular and motor assessment, in order to enhance the accuracy of the vestibular screening protocol.
Determination of normative data for the cVEMP response parameters in a group of typically developing normal-hearing children at the age of 6 months, in order to provide the reference centres with cut-off values for an accurate interpretation of their screening.