Relating quality of life to outcomes and predictors in adult cochlear implant users: Are we measuring the right things?

Objective: Current clinical outcome measures for adults receiving cochlear implants (CIs) consist of word and sentence recognition, primarily under quiet conditions. However, these measures may not adequately reflect patients’ CI-specific quality of life (QOL). This study first examined traditional auditory-only speech recognition measures and other potentially relevant auditory measures as correlates of QOL in CI users. Second, scores on non-auditory tasks of language and cognition were examined as potential predictors of QOL. Study Design: Twenty-five postlingually deafened adults with CIs were assessed. Methods: Participants completed a validated CI-specific QOL measure (the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire, NCIQ) and were tested for word and sentence recognition in quiet, as well as sentence recognition in speech-shaped noise. Participants also completed assessments of audiovisual speech recognition, environmental sound identification, and a task of complex auditory verbal processing. Several non-auditory language and cognitive tasks were examined as potential predictors of QOL. Results: QOL scores significantly correlated with scores for audiovisual speech recognition and recognition of complex sentences in quiet, but not sentences in noise or isolated words. No significant correlations were obtained between QOL and environmental sound identification or complex auditory verbal processing. QOL subdomain scores were predicted by several non-auditory language and cognitive tasks as well as some patient characteristics. Conclusion: Postoperative measures of recognition of sentences in quiet and audiovisual sentence recognition correlate with CI-related QOL. Findings suggest that sentence recognition tasks are QOL-relevant outcomes, but explain only a small fraction of the variability in QOL outcomes for this patient population.

Publication Date:
Aug 04 2017
Date Submitted:
Jun 28 2019
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 Record created 2019-06-28, last modified 2019-07-24

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