The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of unilateral cochlear implant (CI) in patients over 60 on speech perception and quality of life, comparing the results obtained with a control group of younger CI recipients. Twenty CI users (mean age 72 years), postlingually deafened, were included in this study. Audiological performance was evaluated using bisyllabic words and sentences recognition tests in a quiet and a noise environment. Moreover, we administered two questionnaires to evaluate the health status (SF-36), CI-related effects on daily activities and personal satisfaction (Questionnaire for self-evaluation of CI benefit with SADL scale modification). Performance measures of the geriatric population showed a significant benefit on speech recognition tests compared to pre-implantation condition, even if younger CI users scored significantly better in both bisyllabic words and sentences recognition test. All study patients reported being able to have a normal conversation with an acquaintance. No significant difference was found between the study and control group in physical and mental health status, conversation with an outsider, use of TV and phone. A significant difference (p < 0.05) was noticed, instead, between elderly and younger adult patients about the overall satisfaction derived from CI. Our findings confirm the indisputable utility of CI and provide evidence that elderly patients derive a substantial benefit from it on quality of life, as demonstrated by health status, success in the common activities of daily living and perceived satisfaction after this procedure.
- cochlear implantation