Postural Control in Deaf Children
This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the reliability of static control evaluation with Synapsys Posturography System (SPS, Marseille, France) and to compare the static postural control of deaf children with typically developing children. This study was conducted in 2 phases on 81 children of 7 to 12 years old in Tehran schools. The first phase examined the reliability of static balance evaluation with SPS. In this phase, a total of 12 children with typical development were evaluated and then do a re-test 1 week later. In the second phase, 30 children with profound sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and high risk in their balance (selected from Baghcheban Schools for the Deaf) as the experimental group, and 37 children with typical development (selected randomly from 2 primary schools for girls and boys in District 12 of Tehran Department of Education) as control group were enrolled in the study. They were all placed under sensory organization test evaluation. Based on the results of intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), the unilateral random effects model, test-retest reliability in different sensory conditions, the moderate to excellent results were obtained (ICC between 0.68 and 0.94). Also, the mean displacement of pressure center in all sensory conditions, the limits of stability (LOS) area, the overall balance scores, and scores for balance sensory ratio (except the somatosensory ratio) of children with typical development were better than the deaf peers (P˂0.05). The SPS has acceptable reliability to evaluate static posture in children between the ages of 7 and 12 years. Furthermore, deaf children as compared to children with typical development had a lower static postural control in all sensory conditions. This finding confirms the need to examine the postural control for identifying the extent of sensory deficit that has caused poor balance function, and also the need for early intervention to address the balance deficit in deaf children.
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