Quality of life and audiologic performance through the ability to phone of cochlear implant users.
- Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
This study aimed to evaluate the impact of cochlear implantation on quality of life (QoL), using general and cochlear implant (CI) specific questionnaires and to determine the relationship of phone ability with QoL, speech recognition abilities and tinnitus. Twenty-six adult volunteers with a post-lingual profound deafness, unilaterally implanted with a CI, were included in this study. All subjects had used a CI for at least 1 year. The Glasgow benefit inventory (GBI) and Nijmegen cochlear implant questionnaire (NCIQ) were administered to assess QoL. Speech recognition was tested using phonemic Lafon's lists. The subjective tinnitus severity scale (STSS) questionnaire was used to determine the effects of tinnitus. CI users were split into four groups according to their phone ability. There was an improvement in QoL after cochlear implantation. The NCIQ showed significant (p < 0.001) improvements in the total score and in all subdomains after CI. A significant relationship between phone ability, QoL and speech recognition was found. Improving phone ability led to higher QoL (p < 0.05) and speech recognition (p < 0.01) scores. The CI use decreased significantly the occurrence of tinnitus, but its severity was not correlated with QoL. Post-surgery assessment should include speech recognition measures and QoL evaluation. The NCIQ appeared more effective than the GBI in its ability to detect improvements in QoL. Assessing phone ability represents an easy and fast approach to evaluate hearing performances and QoL, and may reflect global outcomes of CI.