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Meta-analysis of pediatric cochlear implant literature.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-6402, USA.

Abstract

We analyzed published reports of the effect of age at implantation and the cause of and age at onset of deafness on speech perception benefit in children with cochlear implants, and compared these results with those of unreported trials of multichannel cochlear implants. Combining data from published and unpublished patient series was constrained by differences in test protocols between studies, but was made feasible by employing a meta-analysis in which data were converted into an ordinal classification scale that represented levels of communicative benefit. Results showed that more rapid gains in speech perception are associated with earlier age at implantation, and that speech perception results are independent of cause of or age at onset of deafness after 1 year of implant use. Moreover, with minor exceptions, there was no statistical difference between published and unpublished data, thereby indicating no publication bias in the literature. A meta-analytic approach is useful because it can clarify the quality of reported data and the direction of future research and, hopefully, foster collaboration in conducting and reporting future research. A standardized approach to reporting results in children is advised in order to produce a balanced interpretation of implant benefit and to facilitate wider understanding and dissemination of study conclusions.

PMID:
10214816
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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