Objective: The aim was to assess articulation and speech intelligibility over time in a group of cochlear implant users implanted at 8 yr or over. The hypothesis was that the postoperative speech production performance would be greater than the preoperative performance. Design: A test of intelligibility using sentences and an articulation test measuring non-imitative elicited speech were administered to 11 and 10 subjects, respectively, who were implanted with the 22-elec-trode cochlear implant. Nine subjects received both tests. Age at implantation ranged from 8 yr to 20 yr and implant use ranged from 1 yr to 4 yr 5 mo. Results: For both the intelligibility and articulation tests roughly half of the subjects showed significant improvements over time and group mean postoperative performance significantly exceeded preoperative performance. Improvements occurred for front, middle, and back consonants; for stops, fricatives, and glides and for voiceless and voiced consonants. Conclusions: Despite being deprived of acoustic speech information for many childhood years, roughly half of the patients assessed showed significant gains in speech intelligibility and articulation postimplantation. The lack of a control group of non-implanted patients means that we cannot separate out the influence of the implant on speech production from other influences such as training and tactile-kinaesthetic feedback.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Ear and Hearing|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|