Objective: Balance control and motor assessments are not a routine procedure in children with hearing impairment. This study compared static and dynamic balance of school children with and without hearing impairment.
Methods: This two-group study involved 160 school children, i.e. 80 hearing impaired having stimulus intensity values of 30 dB or greater and 80 control, aged between 8 and 17 years. One leg stance test and functional reach test were used to assess static and dynamic balance, respectively. Data were summarized using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Alpha level was set at 0.05.
Results: Both eyes closed and eyes opened static balances were significantly lower among hearing impaired than the normal hearing subjects. Dynamic balance was higher among the hearing impaired but was not statistically significant. There was no significant correlation between eyes closed and eyes opened static balance among the hearing impaired and the normal hearing subjects, respectively. No significant correlation was found between dynamic and static balance among the hearing impaired and normal hearing subjects, respectively.
Conclusion: Children with hearing impairment perform poorly on static balance tests compared with their normal hearing subjects, while dynamic balance was comparable between both groups of subjects. Balance training program is recommended for children with hearing impairment who present movement and stability deficits.
Key words: Static-balance, dynamic-balance, one leg stance test, functional reach test, hearing impairment