Background: Sound localization is a valuable skill whose maturation is influenced by auditory experience and is limited by bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. No study has assessed auditory localization in bilateral hearing-impaired children (BHIC) aged 5-6 years. The present study aimed to investigate the auditory localization skill in children with moderate-to-severe bilateral hearing loss and using hearing aids compared to their normally hearing peers.
Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 19 participants aged 5-6 years (60-72 month) with a mean age of 65.31± 3.83 month as the BHIC group, and 21 participants aged 5-6 years with a mean age of 60.21±3.02 years as the normally hearing children (NHC) group. The localization ability of both groups was tested in 24 positions with 15-degree intervals by a speaker connected to a laptop and a calibrated speech stimulus named "test". A score of +0.5 for each 15 degree of error on the right side of the position, and -0.5 on the left side of the position were considered.
Results: The results showed that there was a significant difference in the error rates between the two groups in four (out of 24) positions (p<0.05). The difference was not statistically significant in other positions.
Conclusion: The BHIC had a defect in the localization skill in some situations. Therefore, localization test, and localization training are recommended for these children.