Role of parental socio-educational factors on prevalence of paediatric otological disorders

Jeeva Thankom Philip, Rejee Ebenezer Renjit


Background: Parental socioeconomic status, often designated by education and occupation is likely to have significant implications in children’s otological health. Hence the present school screening study was formulated in an attempt to establish the role of these factors on the prevalence of various ear diseases and related hearing impairment in children.

Methods: A total of 346 lower primary school children, in the age group of 5-10 years were included in this cross sectional study. Details pertaining to the socioeconomic background of children were collected by questionnaire method. All children were initially evaluated by otoscopy and tuning fork testing and those having equivocal or abnormal tuning fork test results were subjected to pure tone audiometry and tympanometry.  

Results: There was significantly higher prevalence of hearing impairment among children of mothers with lower maternal educational status (13.2% versus 6.3%, (p=0.04, Odds ratio (95% CI) 2.27 (1.004-5.13)). Normal ear findings were noticed significantly higher among children with higher paternal (62.3% versus 47.7%) and maternal (59.1% versus 45.7%) educational status.

Conclusions: Favourable parental socio-educational factors, especially maternal education have a significant positive impact on children’s otological health.



Ear diseases, Hearing loss, Children, Educational status, Social conditions

Full Text:



Smaldino J, Flexer C. Classroom acoustics: Personal and soundfield FM and IR systems. In: Madell J, Flexer C. editors. Pediatric Audiology: Diagnosis, Technology, and Management. New York: Thieme; 2008: 192-204.

Blumsack J, Anderson K. Back to school! 13 facts revisited. Hearing Review. 2004;11(10):62‐3.

Johnson D, Seaton J. Educational Audiology Handbook. 2nd ed. Clifton NJ: Cengage Learning: 2011.

American speech language hearing association-Audiology information series. Available at Accessed 14 August 2019. Accessed 25 July 2019.

Chadha SK, Agarwal AK, Gulati A, Garg A. A comparative evaluation of ear diseases in children of higher versus lower socioeconomic status. J Laryngol Otol. 2006;120(01):16-9.

Egbuonu L, Starfield B. Child health and social status. Pediatrics. 1982;69(5):550-7.

Bush ML, Burton M, Loan A, Shinn JB. Timing discrepancies of early intervention hearing services in urban and rural cochlear implant recipients. Otol Neurotol. 2013;34(9):1630-5.

Kumar N, Gupta N, Kishore J. Kuppuswamy's socioeconomic scale: Updating income ranges for the year 2012. Indian J Public Health. 2012;56:103-4.

Gender composition of rural-urban population. Available at Chapter_V.pdf. Accessed 14 August 2019.

Grossman M. The human capital model. In: Culyer AJ, Newhouse JP, editors. The handbook of health economics. Elsevier; 2000: 348-408.

Verma AK. Epidemiology of CSOM and deafness in a rural area and developing an intervention strategy. Indian J Pediatr. 1995;62:725-9.

Kamal N, Joarder AH, Chowdhury AA. Prevalence of chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) among the children living in two selected slums of Dhaka city. Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull. 2004;30:95-104.

Shaheen MM, Raquib A, Ahmad SM. Prevalence and associated socio-demographic factors of chronic suppurative otitis media among rural primary school children of Bangladesh. Int J Pediatric Otorhinolaryngol. 2012;76(8):1201-4.

Bafaqeeh SA, Zakzouk SM, Al Muhaimeid H, Essa A. Relevant demographic factors and hearing impairment in Saudi children: epidemiological study. J Laryngol Otol. 1994;108(04):294-8.

Renjit RE, Manonmony S, Philip JT, Jose DJ. Spectrum of ENT diseases among urban school children in South Kerala, India. Int J Biomed Res. 2014;5(5):355-8.

Philip JT, Renjit RE. Prevalence and factors related to hearing impairment among mainstream primary school children in Rural Southern India. Orissa J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;11(1):7-15.

Rajender Kumar PV. A study on the incidence and aetiology of deafness in a South Indian population. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1974;26(3):153-7.

Rao RP, Subramanyam MA, Nair NS, Rajashekhar B. Hearing impairment and ear diseases among children of school entry age in rural South India. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2002;64(2):105-10.

Boss EF, Niparko JK, Gaskin DJ, Levinson KL. Socioeconomic disparities for hearing-impaired children in the United States. Laryngoscope. 2011;121:860-6.

Sutton GJ, Rowe SJ. Risk factors for childhood sensorineural hearing loss in the Oxford region. British J Audiol. 1997;31(1):39-54.

Grossman M, Kaestner R. Effects of Education on Health. Social Benefits Educ. 1997;12:69.

Currie J. Healthy, wealthy, and wise: Socioeconomic status, poor health in childhood, and human capital development. J Econ Lit. 2009;47(1):87-122.