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Cochlear Implants Int. 2012 May;13(2):105-12. doi: 10.1179/1754762811Y.0000000001. Epub 2011 May 23.

Adapting to bilateral cochlear implants: early post-operative device use by children receiving sequential or simultaneous implants at or before 3.5 years.

Author information

  • 1Audiology, Hearing and Speech Sciences, Department of Otolaryngology, The University of Melbourne, Australia. kgalvin@unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To classify adaptation difficulties, or lack thereof, experienced by a clinical population of young bilateral cochlear implant recipients.

METHOD:

Forty-six of the first 48 children sequentially or simultaneously implanted at ≤3.5 years at the Melbourne Clinic participated. Classification into categories was based on daily use of both implants at 2 months post-switch-on, with follow-up information obtained at 12 months.

RESULTS:

The 37 Category 1 children wore both implants full time at 2 months, and 35 still did so at 12 months. The two Category 2 children used both implants 4 hours daily at 2 months, but achieved full-time use within 12 months. The five Category 3 children used both implants for ≤1 hour, with only three achieving full-time use within 12 months. The two Category 4 children did not use two implants at 2 months, and one still did not wear both implants at 12 months. There were weak/modest but significant relationships between category and each of time between implants and age at bilateral implantation.

DISCUSSION:

Ninety-five percent of simultaneously and 70% of sequentially implanted children demonstrated full-time use within 2 months, and nearly all continued to do so at 12 months. Full-time use maximizes opportunities to develop listening skills. Monitoring device use is necessary for all children, especially when significant change occurs. For those experiencing difficulty in adapting, bilateral implant use usually increased over 12 months. Pre-operative counselling must include discussion of possible adaptation difficulties and raise the potential negative influence of age at bilateral implantation and time between implants.

PMID:
22333112
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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