Frequency modulation (FM) and remote microphone (RM) technology is a well recognized way to improve speech perception in adverse listening environments. FM systems are known to improve speech understanding in noisy situations (Lewis et al, 2004; Jerger et al, 1996) and its advantages in deaf children (King 2010), infants (Thibodeau, 2008) with coch...
Context in source publication
The first few years of a child’s life are a time of rapid and important development. During this time the foundations for communication are laid and for all children, language and interaction with their parents is critical to success. Hearing is essential for learning spoken language and the earlier a child can hear speech, the better their opportu...
Purpose Remote microphone systems improve intelligibility in difficult conditions when the performance of hearing aids/cochlear implants is insufficient. The purpose of this study was to explore parents’ experiences with remote microphone systems for their children with hearing loss and to determine the advantages and disadvantages as perceived by parents. Materials and methods Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews with parents of children with moderate to profound bilateral hearing loss (2–19 years old). The open coding method and thematic analysis were used. The final sample consisted of 19 mothers and 9 fathers who had experience with remote microphone systems. Results Parents listed the advantages of remote microphone systems for their child, for themselves and for other carers, such as better hearing and understanding, a life more similar to that of their peers without hearing loss, safety in road traffic, lower fatigue, vocabulary acquisition, better school results. Some limitations were identified, namely low benefits, technical issues and a reluctance to use the device by children or teachers. Conclusions It is crucial to provide parents with information about assistive devices and the consequences of limited access to hearing speech. Professionals should motivate parents, children and teachers to use remote microphone systems even in situations when the benefit may not be obvious if there is a potential benefit for the child. • IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION • The main advantages of remote microphone systems perceived by parents are better hearing and understanding, a life more similar to peers without hearing loss, safety in traffic, lower fatigue, vocabulary acquisition and better school results. • The main disadvantages are for parents: persisting hearing problems, low benefits, technical issues and a reluctance to use the device by children or teachers. • Sufficient and accurate information is needed about remote microphone systems, but also about the consequences of hearing loss in general. • The possibility to try wireless devices before buying and troubleshooting help is appreciated.