Physical therapy management for balance deficits in children with hearing impairments

Childhood hearing impairment is a significant issue, related to long-term academic, communicative and physical impairments. Studies have shown that children with hearing loss also present with balance and/or vestibular deficits along with reporting of frequent falling. Various interventions have been studied to improvise postural control and balance in these children on different outcome measures. This review will provide the existing evidence on interventions to improve vestibular and/or balance functions. Three trials met the study criteria with PEDro score ≥6, and data were extracted, entered by two independent review authors. Though there was variability with regard to the focus and intensity of the intervention, subject characteristics and in outcome measures, vestibular rehabilitation has a positive influence on functional independence. Heterogeneity in the studies limits the comparisons of intervention programmes.

The study concluded that there was substantial evidence for a beneficial effect on balance outcomes among the hearing-impaired population with vestibular deficits. Additional investigations of high-quality studies are necessary to determine to compare interventions for improving vestibular deficits in hearing-impaired children.