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Cochlear Implants Int. 2014 May;15 Suppl 1:S43-6. doi: 10.1179/1467010014Z.000000000168.

Language and speech perception of young children with bimodal fitting or bilateral cochlear implants.



This paper compares language development and speech perception of children with bimodal fitting (a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the opposite ear) or bilateral cochlear implantation.


Participants were children enrolled in the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment study. Language development was assessed at 3 years of age using standardized tests. Speech perception was evaluated at 5 years of age. Speech was presented from a frontal loudspeaker, and babble noise was presented either from the front or from both sides.


On average, there was no significant difference in language outcomes between 44 children with bimodal fitting and 49 children with bilateral cochlear implants; after controlling for a range of demographic variables. Earlier age at cochlear implant activation was associated with better outcomes. Speech perception in noise was not significantly different between children with bimodal fitting and those with bilateral cochlear implants. Compared to normal-hearing children, children with cochlear implants required a better signal-to-noise ratio to perform at the same level, but demonstrated spatial release from masking of a similar magnitude.


This population-based study found that language scores for children with bilateral implants were higher than those with bimodal fitting or those with unilateral implants, but neither reached significance level.


Bilateral implants; Bimodal fitting; Children; Language; Spatial release from masking

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