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Postural control in children with typical development and children with profound hearing loss

Authors de Sousa AMM, de França Barros J, Martins de Sousa Neto B

Received 30 November 2011

Accepted for publication 17 January 2012

Published 9 May 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 433—439


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Aneliza Maria Monteiro de Sousa,1 Jônatas de França Barros,2 Brígido Martins de Sousa Neto3

1Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil; 2Department of Physical Education at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil; 3University Center UNIEURO, Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil

Purpose: To describe the behavior of the postural control in children with profound sensorineural hearing loss and compare the results of experimental tests with hearing children aged 7 to 10 years.
Patients and methods: This is a cross-sectional study where 100 children were divided into experimental and control groups. We used a force platform, AccuSway Plus, where the tests were conducted under the experimental conditions: open base, eyes open (OBEO); open base, eyes closed (OBEC); closed base, eyes open (CBEO); closed base, eyes closed (CBEC). The body sway velocity (V) of the center of pressure, the displacement in the anteroposterior direction (COPap) and mediolateral (COPml) of the center of pressure were the parameters to evaluate the postural control. For statistical analysis we used the nonparametric Mann–Whitney U test, with a significance level of 5%.
Results: In comparisons of variables between the groups, the experimental group outperformed by at least 75% of the control group values. In terms of global trends, the experimental group shows higher values of body oscillations in all experimental conditions and variables evaluated. Children with hearing loss had poorer balance performance compared to the group of hearing. The inferential analysis revealed a statistically significant difference in the balance between deaf and hearing children in the OBEC experimental condition in relation to the COPml parameter (P = 0.04). There were no statistically significant differences in comparisons between the sexes when the groups were analyzed separately. The prevalence of unknown etiology showed 58% of cases and congenital rubella in 16%. The discovery of deafness occurred in 70% of children before the age of 3 years.
Conclusion: In this study, children with hearing loss had poorer balance performance compared to the group of hearing children. This finding confirms the need to investigate postural control through longitudinal studies to identify the area of sensory deficit causing poor balance performance and promote more specific early interventions.

Keywords: postural control, hearing impairment, balance, children, sensory deprivation, early intervention

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