Children with cochlear implant, hearing impairment and normal hearing

Speech perception and spoken language outcomes of early cochlear implantation and hearing aid rehabilitation at ages 4 to 6

The project is a continuation and an extension of an ongoing national multi-centre, prospective study with repeated-measures design carried out in collaboration with all the
five University Hospitals in Finland. The main goals of this Project are to investigate speech perception and speech and language outcomes of Finnish children with severe-profound hearing impairment who use cochlear implant(s) and in children with moderate-severe hearing impairment who use hearing aids. The children’s speech perception and spoken language abilities are assessed annually with formal tests and by detailed analyses on the children’s speech at the ages 4 to 6 years.

Project leader and Principal Investigator:

  • Professor, PhD Sari Kunnari

Responsible researcher:

  • Adjunct Professor,  PhD Taina Välimaa

Research team:

  • Professor, MD, PhD Heikki Löppönen, University of Eastern Finland
  • PhD, SLT Eila Lonka, University of Helsinki
  • PhD, MD Jaakko Laitakari

Collaborations:

  • Universities of Helsinki, Eastern Finland, Turku and Aalto University in Helsinki
  • University Hospitals of Oulu, Kuopio, Helsinki, Turku and Tampere

Funding:

  • Academy of Finland, General research grant, 2017–2021

Speech perception and speech and language development in children with unilateral and/or bilateral cochlear implant(-s) and bilateral hearing aids

The study is a nationwide multi-centre prospective study with a repeated-measures design. The main goal of the study is to investigate speech perception and speech and language development of Finnish children with severe or profound hearing impairment receiving their cochlear implant(s) (later CI or CIs) before the age of two years. Further, the study aims to quantify and qualify the potential benefits of bilateral cochlear implantation, and to compare children with bilateral CIs with children using a unilateral CI and a hearing aid in the contra-lateral ear. The project also aims at investigating the above mentioned aspects in children with moderate hearing impairment using bilateral hearing aids.

Project leader:

  • Professor, PhD Sari Kunnari

Academy Research Fellow Post:

  • Academy Reseach Fellow, PhD Taina Välimaa

Research team:

  • Professor, MD, PhD Heikki Löppönen, University of Eastern Finland
  • Phil.Lic., SLT Eila Lonka, University of Helsinki
  • MA, SLT Satu Rimmanen, Turku University Hospital

Project researchers:

  • MA, SLT Anna-Kaisa Tolonen, University of Oulu
  • MA, SLT Krista Wallenius, University of Oulu

Collaborations:

  • Universities of Helsinki, Eastern Finland, Turku and Aalto University in Helsinki
  • University Hospitals of Oulu, Kuopio, Helsinki, Turku and Tampere
  • Associate Professor, PhD, CCC-SLP David J. Ertmer, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, USA, (http://www.purdue.edu/hhs/slhs/index.html)
  • Professor Astrid van Wieringen, ExpORL, Department of Neurosciences, Logopedische en Audiologische Wetenschappen Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium, (https://gilbert.med.kuleuven.be/web/index.php/Public:Main_Page)

Funding:

  • Academy of Finland, General research grant, 2010–2013
  • Academy of Finland, Academy Research Fellow post, 2011–2016

Speech perception in noise in children with cochlear implants and hearing aids: The new Children’s test of word recpgnition in noise and realistic sound environments

Speech perception in noise in children with hearing impairment or with normal hearing has not been systematically investigated in Finland before: not in scientific research nor in clinical work. One obvious reason for this is the lack of standardized and norm-referenced speech audiometric tests. We have developed an adaptive Children’s test of word recognition in noise, which complies with the international standard EN ISO 8253-3 (2012). The main goal of the key project is to investigate speech perception in noise in children with normal hearing (in age-groups 3–15 years) and in children with hearing impairment using cochlear implants or hearing aids. The key project promotes utilisation of the newly developed test in clinical work. The key project will also advance assessment
of speech perception in realistic noise environments by piloting the combination of reproduction of loud auditory environments and speech perception tests.

Project leader:

  • Adjunct Professor, PhD Taina Välimaa

Research team:

  • Professor Sari Kunnari, University of Oulu
  • Professor Heikki Löppönen, University of Eastern Finland
  • MD, PhD, Jaakko Laitakari, Oulu University Hospital
  • D.Sc. (Tech), Ville Sivonen, Helsinki University Hospital
  • M.Sc. (Tech.), Teemu Koski, Cochlear Nordic AB and Aalto University, Helsinki

Research assistant:

  • BA, Johanna Hautala, University of Oulu

Collaborations:

  • Aalto University in Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland
  • Helsinki, Kuopio, Oulu, Tampere and Turku University Hospitals
  • Professor Astrid van Wieringen, ExpORL, Department of Neurosciences, Logopedische en Audiologische Wetenschappen Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium (https://gilbert.med.kuleuven.be/web/index.php/Public:Main_Page)

Funding:

  • Academy of Finland, Key project funding: Forging ahead with research, 2016–2018