International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology vol:73 issue:5 pages:723-730
Objective: To examine the effects of sequential bilateral cochlear implantation (CI) on the life of young children after 36 months of bilateral implant use.
Method: Thirty-five children were assessed prior to and 3 until 36 months after activation of the second CI. Main outcome measures were: the Categories of Auditory performance (CAP), Speech Intelligibility Rating (SIR), communication mode, classroom placement, parent reports and the Würzburg questionnaire. Results were analysed separately for children younger and older than 6 years at the time of the second implantation.
Results: At the 3-year test interval, 80% of the younger children attended mainstream schools and were comprehensible for all listeners. They all used oral communication and almost 70% of them could have a conversation over the telephone. After 3 years of bilateral implant use less than 50% of the older children obtained the highest score on the SIR and CAP. Approximately 70% of them was integrated in mainstream schools and used oral communication. All parents reported a more natural communication and an improved quality of life.
Conclusions: Sequential bilateral implantation seems to offer a wide range of participation benefits to all children and facilitates the social intercourse with their hearing environment.