Factors associated with speech, hearing and language disorders among children in a primary care outpatient center
Palavras-chave:child, language, speech, hearing, speech disorders, speech therapy
Introduction: Appropriate communication behaviors are developed when the complex language processes are well-balanced.
Objective: To investigate the occurrence of hearing and speech disorders and their associated factors in children.
Methods: Study based on interviews with secondary informants of 95 children of a waiting list for a medical consultant in a public pediatric primary care unit in a medium-sized city in southern Brazil. The interaction between the independent variables: gender, age, hearing complaints, bottle feeding and/or pacifier and number of siblings with the dependents variables: speech disorders and hearing impairment was verified. Data analysis included descriptive and analytical statistics (bivariate chi-square and Fisher's Exact test) with significance level at 5% (p ≤ 0.05).
Results: Seventy-nine (83.2%) respondents reported that the child hears well, and 16 (16.8%) didn’t answer on this issue. The prevalence of oral breathing among respondents was 68.9% (62 children), 82,5% (52 children) had a history of breastfeeding and 22% (11 children) demonstrated signs of a speech disorder. Of school-age children, 3 (12.5%) reported learning difficulties. Mouth breathing appears to be associated with speech disorders (p = 0.041). Sex (p= 0.3), age (p = 0.3) and pacifier use and/or bottle (p = 0.96, p = 0.33) were not associated with speech disorders.
Conclusion: The prevalence of speech disorders in the children studied was 22%. The sex, age or suspected hearing impairment were not associated with the occurrence of speech disorders and/or hearing complaints in the children studied.
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