Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) tests in a school-age hearing screening programme – analysis of 76,429 children
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Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, Warsaw, Poland
Clinic Otolaryngology and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy Faculty, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Institute of Sensory Organs, Kajetany, Poland
World Hearing Center, Kajetany, Poland
Institute of Rheumatology, Warsaw, Poland
Otoneurology Lab, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2015;22(1):90–95
Introduction and objective:
Hearing disorders among school-age children are a current concern. Continuing studies have been performed in Poland since 2008, and on 2 December 2011 the EU Council adopted Conclusions on the Early Detection and Treatment of Communication Disorders in Children, Including the Use of e-Health Tools and innovative Solutions. The discussion now focuses not only on the efficacy of hearing screening programmes in schoolchildren, but what should be its general aim and what tests it should include? This paper makes the case that it is important to include central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) tests. One such test is the dichotic digits test (DDT). The aim of the presented study was to evaluate the usefulness of the DDT in detecting central hearing disorders in school-age children.

Material and Methods:
During hearing screening programmes conducted in Poland in 2008–2010, exactly 235,664 children (7–12-years-old) were screened in 9,325 schools. Of this number, 7,642 were examined using the DDT test for CAPD. Screening programmes were conducted using the Sense Examination Platform.

With the cut-off criterion set at the 5th percentile, results for the DDT applied in a divided attention mode were 11.4% positive for 7-year-olds and 11.3% for 12-year-olds. In the focused attention mode, the comparable result for 12-year-olds was 9.7%. There was a clear right ear advantage. In children with positive DDT results, a higher incidence of other disorders, such as dyslexia, was observed.

A test for CAPD should be included in the hearing screening of school-age children. The results of this study form the basis for developing Polish standards in this area

The authors express their thanks to Andrew Bell for comments on an earlier version of this article.
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