Children with cochlear implants have quality of life equal to normal hearing peers

Feb 01, 2010

Children who have cochlear implants (CI) rank their quality of life (QOL) equal to their normally hearing (NH) peers, indicates new research in the February 2010 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that restores partial hearing to the deaf. It is surgically implanted in the and activated by a device worn outside the ear. Unlike a hearing aid, it does not make sound louder or clearer. Instead, the device bypasses damaged parts of the and directly stimulates the hearing nerve, allowing deaf or severely hard of hearing individuals to receive sound. The National Institutes of Health estimate that as many as 59,000 people worldwide have received , with roughly half of those in the pediatric population.

Prior research has indicated that feel less socially accepted, experience more difficulty in making friends, and demonstrate greater adjustment problems than their hearing peers. The subsequent success of the multi-channel CI devices that improve and led researchers to look beyond speech and language performance to questions of psycho-social behaviors and adjustment.

This cross-sectional study of 88 families with CI children from 16 U.S. states used a generic QOL questionnaire. The group was then divided by age of the child when they filled out the questionnaire: an 8-11-year-old group and a 12-16-year-old group. Both parents and children were asked to fill out the QOL questionnaire, with the parents assessing their child. The study group was then compared to a control group of 1,501 NH children in fourth and eighth grades.

Results of the questionnaire revealed that overall QOL did not differ between CI and NH groups. However, examination of individual subscales revealed that 8-11-year-old CI children rate their QOL with family less positively than their NH peers. Younger CI recipients rated overall QOL more positively than the older 12-16-year-old CI group. However, the authors point out that this could be a reflection of standard adolescent behavior. Overall QOL showed a significant inverse association with age at implantation, and a significant positive correlation with duration of CI use in the 12-16-year-old group.

The authors point out that even though prior studies have assessed QOL in CI children, this study adds additional perspective to the literature, as it combines assessments by the actual CI recipients and parents, and it maps the results in context with NH children. In addition to findings about how CI children rank their QOL, the research reveals that parents proved to be reliable reporters for their children in areas where they could observe and participate.

The authors write, "For profoundly deaf children who regularly use a cochlear implant, feelings about life overall are no better or worse than their hearing peers. These findings indicate that cochlear implantation has a positive effect on certain psycho-social domains."

Explore further: Ebola scare boosts business for US company

Provided by American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cochlear Implants Offer Kids A Gift Beyond Hearing

Feb 18, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- For years, hearing scientists have known that cochlear implants improve the communication of children who receive them. What they didn’t know was whether the children and their parents perceived ...

MRI machines may damage cochlear implants

Dec 01, 2008

Patients with cochlear implants may want to steer clear of certain magnetic imaging devices, such as 3T MRI machines, because the machines can demagnetize the patient's implant, according to new research published in the ...

Recommended for you

Ebola scare boosts business for US company

1 hour ago

The Ebola scare has subsided in the United States, at least temporarily, but an Alabama manufacturer is still trying to catch up with a glut of orders for gear to protect against the disease.

Thai parliament votes to ban commercial surrogacy (Update)

8 hours ago

Thailand's parliament has voted to ban commercial surrogacy after outrage erupted over the unregulated industry following a series scandals including the case of an Australian couple accused of abandoning a baby with Down's ...

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

Nov 25, 2014

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

Nov 25, 2014

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.