Subjective benefits of sequential bilateral cochlear implantation in young children after 18 months of implant use
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
ORL: journal for oto-rhino-laryngology and its related specialties
, p. 112-121
University of Antwerp
Objective: To investigate the subjective benefits of bilateral cochlear implantation in 33 young children after 18 months of second implant use. Method: The Würzburg questionnaire inquiring into a range of hearing functions was filled out by the parents. Additional data concerning the daily life and well-being of the children were gathered with an open-ended questionnaire and the Categories of Auditory Performance. Results were analyzed separately for children younger and older than 6 years at the time of the second implantation. Results: After 18 months of bilateral implant use 30% of the younger and 6% of the older children made the transition to an auditory-oral communication. In this period, 15% of all children switched to mainstream schools. The parents reported an evolution of their children's auditory abilities, which included a better sound and speech perception. Multiregression analysis revealed that early hearing aid fitting and the age at the second cochlear implantation significantly contributed to the variance of the Würzburg results. Conclusions: The results indicate a wide range of positive subjective changes associated with bilateral cochlear implantation, even in older children. This progress led to a better and easier communication and a better integration in the normal-hearing world.