European Symposium on Paediatric Cochlear Implantation edition:9 location:Warsaw, Poland date:14-17 May 2009
Throughout the past decade, age of implantation in infants has decreased markedly due to neonatal screening in Flanders and the Netherlands. It is well known that early intervention is beneficial for the language and hearing development of hearing-impaired children. However, it is unclear what can be expected from implanted children regarding their language and hearing development, to what extent they differentiate from normal-hearing peers and which parameters mainly cause variability in performance. Since September 2008 an international research project has been launched, aimed at determining benchmarks in hearing, speech and language in a large group of Flemish and Dutch
children with a cochlear implant. The results may guide hearing rehabilitation and education of hearing-impaired children.
In a retrospective study, predictors will be determined based on existing data on language and hearing development in implanted children up to 12 years of age. Currently, a protocol is set up by reviewing recent literature and including available data of different CI-centers. First data are evaluated in a pilot study in one Flemish CI-center.
Due to different procedures in each of the centers the retrospective study includes data on a variety of tests, collected at different intervals after implantation. The database includes (1) etiology and patient related data, (2) hearing, and (3) language test scores.
Currently, no standard follow-up protocol exists for implanted children in Flanders or in the Netherlands. An efficient protocol could enhance between-center information exchange and research possibilities.
Findings of the retrospective study will be used to set up a protocol for a prospective study in which additional information on hearing and language development will be gathered in a standardized manner in the different locations. New tests will be developed and a more extensive test procedure will be implemented in order to enable the derivation of benchmarks in hearing, speech and language
development in implanted Dutch-speaking children.