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Bimodal Programming

Bimodal Programming

November 10, 2015 In the News

Siburt and Holmes (2015) report that 93 responses to their survey, which queried who programs the hearing aid (adult patients) given a bimodal fitting (‘bimodal’ as used here indicates one ear has a cochlear implant [CI] and the other has a hearing aid). The respondents represented multiple clinical settings (private practice, ENT clinics, university clinics, and hospitals). Fifty-seven responses were from “small centers” (fewer than or up to 20 adult patients per year) and 36 were from “large centers” (more than 20 patients per year). The authors report some two-thirds of the large centers stated more than 30 percent of their CI recipients are bimodal and of the small centers, only 46 percent reported the same. With regard to timing the hearing aid re-programming (for bimodal adult patients, post-CI programming), 50 percent of the respondents said they waited at least two months, none reported re-programming prior to two weeks, and roughly 1 in 5 reported re-programming the hearing aid between two weeks and two months.

Approximately one-third of respondents stated the cochlear implant audiologist (who also specializes in hearing aids) did the hearing aid re-programming, 14 percent stated the CI audiologist performed the re-programming, and 24 percent reported the hearing aid audiologist did the hearing aid re-programming. The remaining respondents noted that the work was done by “other.” Siburt and Holmes note there is a real need for “more structured clinical recommendations and programming approaches…” and with the recent approval of electroacoustic implants “it will be necessary for both hearing aid and cochlear implant audiologists to be familiar with both devices and understand their programming….”

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Siburt HW, Holmes AE. (2015) Bimodal Programming—A Survey of Current Clinical Practice. American Journal of Audiology 24:243-249.

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