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Cochlear Implant Satisfaction and Psychological Profiles

Cochlear Implant Satisfaction and Psychological Profiles

October 19, 2015 In the News

Kobosko et al (2015) report that when post-lingually deafened adults acquire a cochlear implant, the benefits extend beyond hearing. That is, quality of life improves, as does psychological well-being and social interactions. The authors studied the relationship between cochlear implant (CI) satisfaction and level of psychological distress, stress coping strategies, and global self-esteem. The authors report that CI satisfaction “…reflects the overall feeling of benefit…attributed to their CI, including quality of life and general psychological well-being.”

Ninety eight adult patients ( aged 19 to 85 years) with unilateral CIs participated in the mail-based, multiple-questionnaire study. Kobosko et al state that, “CI satisfaction was not related to speech perception scores, duration of deafness, length of CI use, or other socio-demographic factors.”  For the younger adults, CI satisfaction was more highly correlated with “lower severity of depressive symptoms,” and for the older adults, CI satisfaction was more highly correlated with “less severe social dysfunction symptoms.”

Kobosko et al report that average levels of satisfaction of CI users (in their study) was determined to be 82 percent. Of note, 31 percent of their subjects reported a satisfaction rate of 100 percent and 47 percent reported satisfaction above 90 percent. Further, speech perception in quiet averaged 66 percent and of interest, the authors report “no statistically significant differences between younger and older subjects or between those with shorter and longer experience….” They added that “satisfaction with CIs showed no connection with speech perception in quiet and noise,” thereby underscoring the important finding that non-audiological factors are very important with respect to CI satisfaction. Indeed, they state that higher levels of self-esteem correlate with higher levels of CI satisfaction, humor is often an advantage to satisfied CI users, and “satisfaction with a CI appears to be a phenomenon linked most strongly to the human psyche and how it deals psychologically with hearing loss….” Likewise, factors that work against CI satisfaction include depression and denial.

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Kobosko J, Jedrzejczak WW, Pilka E, Pankowska A, Skarzynski H. (2015) Satisfaction With Cochlear Implants in Post-Lingually Deaf Adults and Its Nonaudiological Predictors: Psychological Distress, Coping Strategies, and Self-Esteem. Ear & Hearing 36(5):605-618.

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