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Purpose Cochlear implantation can restore access to sound and speech understanding in subjects with substantial hearing loss. The Health Utilities Index Mark III (HUI3) measures the impact of an intervention on the patient’s quality of life and is sensitive to changes in hearing. In the current study we used factor analysis to predict a clinically important gain in HUI3 scores in adult cochlear implant recipients.
Methods Data were collected in an observational study for 137 adult recipients from a single center who had at least 1-year HUI3 follow-up. Demographic and other baseline parameters were retrospectively analyzed for their association with a clinically important HUI3 scale gain, defined as at least 0.1 points. Data were also collected for the speech spatial qualities (SSQ) scale.
Results Baseline telephone use and HUI3 hearing, speech and emotion attribute levels were significantly associated with clinically important gains in HUI3 scores. However, SSQ scores increased significantly with or without clinically important HUI3 gains.
Conclusion Those subjects who were unhappy or experienced difficulties communicating with strangers or in a group were twice as likely to obtain a clinically important gain in health utility compared to those who were happy or had less difficulty communicating. Subjects who were unable to use the telephone prior to cochlear implantation were one and a half times more likely to obtain a clinically important gain. The SSQ scale was more sensitive to hearing improvements due to cochlear implantation. An inability to use the telephone is an easy to assess biomarker for candidacy for cochlear implantation.
- Quality of life
- Cochlear implant
- Hearing loss
- Predicting outcomes
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