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Am J Otol. 1998 Mar;19(2):152-7.

Speech recognition performance of older children with cochlear implants.

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Advanced Bionics Corporation, Sylmar, California 91342, USA.



The primary purpose of this study was to determine if children, > or =5 years old, with onset of deafness before the acquisition of spoken language (i.e., prelingually deafened) derived more benefit from multichannel cochlear implants than from conventional hearing aids. It was hypothesized that children who used oral communication (speech plus listening) would demonstrate higher levels of performance after implantation than children who used total communication (English sign system plus speech and listening).


Previous research suggests that prelingually deafened children given implants at an older age derive limited benefit from these devices. Changes in candidacy criteria and advances in technology, however, may make cochlear implants a more viable treatment option for this group of patients.


A repeated-measures design was to used to compare patients' preoperative performance with hearing aids to postoperative performance with the CLARION cochlear implant after 3 and 6 months of device use. Pre- and postoperative performance were analyzed separately for children who used oral and total communication.


Both groups of children (oral and total communication) demonstrated significant postoperative improvement on all outcome measures over time. Postoperative scores of the children who used oral communication were significantly higher than those of the children who used total communication on four of the five outcome measures.


Prelingually deafened children who do not receive cochlear implants until > or =5 years of age derive significant benefit from current implant devices compared with that obtained with conventional hearing aids. The greatest benefit is derived by children who use oral communication, with much more limited benefit demonstrated by children who use total communication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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