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Assessment of the quality of life of cochlear implant carriers of retirement age
18 April 2018 (online)
The number of cochlear implant (CI) patients of retirement age is steadily increasing to demographic change. A hearing impairment in old age can be a difficult life event, which can lead to dissatisfaction, social isolation and a negative attitude to life.
Material and method:
We conducted a prospective study examining the development of health-related quality of life of seniors, before and after CI, through self-assessment questionnaires (Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ), Hinderink, Krabbe, Van Den, 2000). Patients responded to the questionnaire preoperatively, as well as three and twelve months after initial fitting. In addition, speech comprehension was measured with the "Freiburg Einsilbertest" and the HSM sentence test at rest and in noise. The data from 46 patients aged 65 – 88 years obtained at the end of the study were statistically evaluated.
Preoperatively, the predominant quality of life data was below the score under 50 (min: 0, max: 100). Just three months after initial adaptation, the quality of life increased to a score of 65,46. After twelve months of wearing the CI, this increased further to 68,76. In speech understanding an improvement could be found.
The 46 patients examined showed a higher health-related quality of life and improved speech perception postoperatively compared to the preoperative point of view. Likewise, auditory performance in all elderly patients with CI increased. This shows the positive influence of hearing with CI on the quality of life even in old age.