The Effect of Cochlear Implant Interval on Spoken Language Skills of Pediatric Bilateral Cochlear Implant Users

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Abstract

Objective: To examine the effects of cochlear implant (CI) interval (time between CI surgeries) on receptive vocabulary and receptive language skills for children with bilateral CIs. Study Design: A prospective cross-sectional study design. Setting: Participants were recruited from, and tested at, oral schools for the deaf and pediatric audiology clinics across the United States. Patients: Eighty-eight children, 4 to 9 years of age, with bilateral CIs and known hearing histories. Twenty-three participants received CIs simultaneously and 65 received CIs sequentially. Of those implanted sequentially, 86% wore a hearing aid (HA) on the non-implanted ear during the CI interval. Intervention: Bilateral cochlear implantation. Main Outcome Measures: Receptive vocabulary was measured via the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). Receptive language skills were measured via the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF). Results: Multiple linear regression models indicate better receptive vocabulary and receptive language skills are associated with earlier ages at first CI (CI 1), but not with shorter CI intervals. Conclusions: Early cochlear implantation (i.e., age at CI 1) is critical for better receptive vocabulary and receptive language skills. Shorter CI intervals are not associated with better receptive vocabulary and receptive language skills for these 88 children, who nearly all used bimodal hearing during the interval. Use of a HA at the non-implanted ear, before receipt of a second CI (CI 2), may mitigate the effects of early bilateral auditory deprivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E600-E605
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Keywords

  • bilateral
  • cochlear implants
  • hearing loss
  • language development
  • pediatric audiology

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