Adults’ cochlear implant journeys through care: a qualitative study

Frances Rapport, Sarah E. Hughes, Isabelle Boisvert, Catherine M. McMahon, Jeffrey Braithwaite, Mona Faris, Mia Bierbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Cochlear implants (CIs) can provide a sound sensation for those with severe sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), benefitting speech understanding and quality of life. Nevertheless, rates of implantation remain low, and limited research investigates journeys from traditional hearing aids to implantable devices.

Method: Fifty-five adults (≥ 50 years), hearing aid users and/or CI users, General Practitioners, and Australian and United Kingdom audiologists took part in a multi-methods study. Focus groups, interviews, and surveys were thematically analysed.

Results: One hundred forty-three data-capture events disclosed 2 themes: 1) “The burden of hearing loss and the impact of Cochlear Implants”, and 2) “Professional Support and Practice, and HCPs Roles and Responsibilities”.

Conclusions: Care experience can include convoluted, complex journeys towards cochlear implantation. The significant impact of this, as hearing loss progresses, motivates people to consider implants, but they and healthcare professionals need clear supported with defined referral pathways, and less system complexity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number457
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Cochlear implants
  • Hearing aids
  • Quality of life
  • Professional practice
  • Audiologists
  • General practitioners


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