Speech perception results for children with implants with different levels of preoperative residual hearing

R. S C Cowan*, J. DelDot, E. J. Barker, J. Z. Sarant, P. Pegg, S. Dettman, K. L. Galvin, G. Rance, R. Hollow, R. C. Dowell, B. Pyman, W. P R Gibson, G. M. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Many reports have established that hearing-impaired children using the Nucleus 22-channel cochlear implant may show both significant benefits to lipreading and significant scores on open-set words and sentences using electrical stimulation only. These findings have raised questions about whether severely or severely-to-profoundly deaf children should be candidates for cochlear implants. To study this question, postoperative results for implanted children with different levels of preoperative residual hearing were evaluated in terms of speech perception benefits. Study Design/Setting: A retrospective study of the first 117 children, sequentially, to undergo implantation in the Melbourne and Sydney Cochlear Implant Clinics was undertaken. All children had been assessed by and received their implants in a tertiary referral centre. Main Outcome Measures: To assess aided residual hearing, the children were grouped into four categories of hearing on the basis of their aided residual hearing thresholds measured preoperatively. To assess benefits, the scores of children on standard speech perception tests were reviewed. As different tests were used for children with different ages and language skills, children were grouped into categories according to the level of postoperative speech perception benefit. Results: The results showed that children in the higher categories of aided preoperative residual hearing showed significant scores on open-set word and sentence perception tests using the implant alone. For children in lower categories of aided residual hearing, results were variable within the groups. More than 90% of children with implants with aided residual hearing thresholds in the speech range above 1 kHz achieved open-set understanding of words and sentences. Conclusion: While the results of this preliminary study confirm previous findings of differential outcomes for children with different levels of preoperative residual hearing, they suggest that children with severe to profound hearing impairments should be considered for cochlear implantation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Otology
Issue number6 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Cochlear implants
  • Residual hearing
  • Speech perception


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