Referral rates of postlingually deafened adult hearing aid users for a cochlear implant candidacy assessment

Valerie Looi*, Cleo Bluett, Isabelle Boisvert

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: The aims of this study were: to investigate the referral rates of postlingually deafened adult cochlear implant (CI) candidates from a hearing aid (HA) clinic for a CI candidacy assessment and to gain insight about factors influencing the referral pathways to CI assessments. Design: Two methodologies were used: a retrospective cohort study reviewing clinical files and a questionnaire to clinicians. Study sample: The files of 1249 adult clients from the HA clinic who had average puretone hearing thresholds greater or equal to 65 dB HL in the better hearing ear and unaided phoneme recognition scores of less than 50% in both ears were reviewed. All of the clinicians completed the online questionnaire. Results: Eighteen adults met the CI candidacy criteria, of whom 16 (89%) had a CI discussion with their audiologist, with 11 (61%) being referred for a CI evaluation. Of these 11, four proceeded to implantation. Questionnaire responses revealed the need for better information on candidacy and referral guidelines for HA audiologists, in addition to enhanced communication between HA and CI clinics. Conclusions: Overall the results indicate that the referral pathway to obtain a CI assessment is a barrier contributing to the low CI penetration rate in adults.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)919-925
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
    Volume56
    Issue number12
    Early online date4 Jul 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

    Keywords

    • cochlear implant
    • hearing aid
    • candidacy
    • referral rate

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