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Characteristics of Children Less Likely to Achieve Open Set WRS Through Cochlear Implants

Characteristics of Children Less Likely to Achieve Open Set WRS Through Cochlear Implants

August 17, 2015 In the News

In general, cochlear implantation is phenomenally successful. That is, when children are identified and implanted early (preferably ages 6 to 12 months), the outcomes of cochlear implantation are typically good to excellent. Geers et al (2008) reported that “the best (CI) outcomes correlated with lower pure-tone averages obtained with their cochlear implant, younger age at implantation and higher nonverbal IQ.


Another interesting question to be considered is: “What are the characteristics of children less likely to do well with cochlear implants (CIs)?”

Barnard and colleagues (2015) sought to identify the characteristics of children who were unable to achieve open-set word recognition scores, five years after cochlear implantation. Six cochlear implant referral centers in the United States participated in this prospective, longitudinal and multidimensional study. The study included 188 children with greater than a 70 dB hearing loss and 97 children with normal hearing.  

Barnard colleagues report that the constellation of factors that may lead to a less successful CI experience. “Poorer aided access to sound in the better ear, lower maternal sensitivity to communications needs, complicated prenatal history, and minority status were associated with the inability to develop open-set speech recognition after 5 years of CI use….” They concluded that “taken together, these variable indicate the broad range of influences on a profoundly deaf child, influences that can slow the acquisition of auditory skills development and slow the development of language, reading, and academic skills.”

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Barnard JM, Fisher LM, Johnson KC, Eisenberg LS, Wang NY, Quittner AL, Carson CM, Niparko JK. (2015) The CDaCA Investigative Team. Otology & Neurotology 36(15):985-992.

Geers A, Tobey E, Moog J, Brenner C. (2008) Long-Term Outcomes of Cochlear Implantation in the Preschool Years: From Elementary Grades to High School. International Journal of Audiology  47 Suppl 2:S21-S30.

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