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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Sep;270(10):2611-20. doi: 10.1007/s00405-012-2264-4. Epub 2012 Nov 23.

Long term results in late implanted adolescent and adult CI recipients.

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Department of Sensorial Organs, University Sapienza of Rome, Policlinico Umberto I Viale del Policlinico, 00161 Rome, Italy.


The aim of the present study is to assess long-term outcomes of CI in prelingual deafened adolescents and adults, describing, where present, differences in performance, self perceived benefit and highlighting specific characteristics. Twenty-three patients were enrolled: 10 adolescents, 13 young adults. Each patient underwent speech perception/language development, psychological evaluation and structured interviews on self perception concerning CI. 70 % adolescents and 100 % adults used their cochlear implant for most of the day; two adolescents were partial users and one was a non-user. Adolescents' average word recognition and comprehension scores improved respectively from 7 to 29.8 % (p = 0.01) and 3 to 26 % (p = 0.1). Adults' average scores improved significantly from 1.5 to 41.9 % (p = 0.01) and from 18.5 to 52.7% (p = 0.001), respectively. None of the subjects showed a linguistic age adequate to the chronological one: average linguistic age was 7.6 years for adolescents and 19.3 for adults. Structured interviews showed improvement in self-esteem. Adults and most adolescents were fully or moderately satisfied with their implant. Cochlear implantation can be considered a valid option for the rehabilitation of highly motivated and well-selected pre-lingual deafened adolescents and adults. Although there is a substantial variability in both groups of patients and language skills are only marginally influenced by CI, there is still a significant improvement in speech perception. CI was described by both groups as having had a positive impact on their lives; nevertheless adolescents were the ones with a tendency to under-use CI, even those with better hearing outcomes.

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