Victorian Childhood Hearing Longitudinal Databank (VicCHILD)

The Victorian Childhood Hearing Longitudinal Databank (VicCHILD) is a Victorian register and research databank of children born with permanent hearing loss. VicCHILD ultimately aims to help children with permanent hearing loss reach their full developmental potentials.

Over 1150 families have already contributed data to VicCHILD. The information collected and stored will: help researchers and health professionals gain a better understanding of the causes and outcomes of childhood hearing loss; help researchers understand why some children with a hearing loss do well, while others face greater difficulties; and improve intervention and treatment.

The enrolment phase can occur at any age and time. Age-appropriate versions of questionnaires are used, and follow-up questionnaires and assessments are given (where possible) every few years after enrolment.

Year 2011-Ongoing 2012-Ongoing 2014-Ongoing 2012-Ongoing 2020 2021
Phase Enrolment 2 year old follow-up 5-7 year old follow-up 9-12 year old follow-up COVID-19 Survey COVID-19 Follow-Up Survey
Age 3 months - 8 years 20-30 months 5-8 years 9-12 years 3 months - 17 years 1-18 years
N in progress in progress in progress in progress 493 362
Community environment
Education and childcare
Environmental exposures
Family environment Family environment
Health services
Medications and supplements
Mental health and behaviour problems
Neurocognitive development
Other health information
Peer relationships Peer relationships
Physical activity
Pregnancy and birth
Psychosocial wellbeing
Screen and technology use
Sleep Sleep
Speech and language
Substance use
Study Summary
Study name Victorian Childhood Hearing Longitudinal Databank
Study abbreviation VicCHILD
Current principal investigator/s Valerie Sung
Melissa Wake
Current project manager

Libby Smith

Primary Institution/s Centre for Community Child Health
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute - MCRI
Major funding source/s The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation - RCHF
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute - MCRI
Study website
Key reference for study Sung V, Smith L, Poulakis Z, Burt RA, Carew P, Tobin S, Wake M. Data Resource Profile: The Victorian Childhood Hearing Impairment Longitudinal Databank (VicCHILD). Int J Epidemiol. 2019 Oct 1;48(5):1409-1410h. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyz168.
Study focus

To provide a register and population-based longitudinal research databank of Victorian children born with a permanent hearing loss to create a unique resource for advancing research in hearing loss. Specific objectives are to facilitate population-based research (including data linkage) that will describe secular trends in outcomes over time for repeated birth cohorts; support population-based quality improvement activities over time; identify and quantify biological and psychosocial factors that predict outcomes; and facilitate randomised controlled trials of new management and treatment approaches.

Sampling frame

Since 2012, participants have been recruited via the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP). Retrospective recruitment was undertaken for babies born in the years 2005 to 2011 and prospective recruitment of babies born from 2012. All families whose child had been diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss were invited. Between 2012 - 2013, families who participated in a previous cohort with congenital hearing loss (SCOUT, born 2003 to 2004) were also invtied to participate. Since 2015, participants have also been recruited via the RCH Clinical Service (Caring for Hearing Impaired Children (CHIC) Clinic).

Primary study type Databank / Biobank
Primary participant (at recruitment) Index child
Year commenced


Is this study ongoing? Yes - the study is ongoing
Ongoing recruitment? Yes
Sample size (N)

1150 as of December 2021

Survey data available? Yes
Imaging data available? No
Linkage to administrative dataset/s? Yes, linkage to (at least one) administrative dataset completed
Biosamples available? Yes
Are data available to others outside study team, with appropriate safeguards and structures in line with the cohort’s ethics and governance processes? Yes
Are there any costs associated with data/sample access for approved requests? There may be costs associated with access, evaluated on a case by case basis
Broadest type of participant consent available Unspecified consent (can be used for any future ethically approved research)
Phase Year Age Sample size (N)
Enrolment 2011-Ongoing 3 months - 8 years IN PROGRESS
2 year old follow-up 2012-Ongoing 20-30 months IN PROGRESS
5-7 year old follow-up 2014-Ongoing 5-8 years IN PROGRESS
9-12 year old follow-up 2012-Ongoing 9-12 years IN PROGRESS
COVID-19 Survey 2020 3 months - 17 years N(Total)=493
COVID-19 Follow-Up Survey 2021 1-18 years N(Total)=362
Study Contacts
Principal investigator/s Valerie Sung
Melissa Wake
Project manager

Libby Smith

Study Contact

Ph: +613 9345 4215
Address: Centre for Community Child Health
Murdoch Children's Research Institute,
Royal Children’s Hospital
Flemington Road, Parkville
Victoria 3052 Australia