Archbold, Sue, Sach, Tracey, O'Neill, Ciaran, Lutman, Mark and Gregory, Susan
Outcomes from cochlear implantation for child and family: parental perspectives
Deafness and Education International, 10, (3), . (doi:10.1002/dei.243).
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While cochlear implantation is an increasingly routine provision for profoundly deaf children in many countries, parents still require information about the procedure and likely outcomes in order to make an informed decision. Other parents can provide them with the insights of those who have undergone the process themselves and observed outcomes at first hand.
The parents of 101 consecutively implanted children completed the questionnaire: Children with cochlear implants: parental perspectives. Average age at implantation was 4.7 years: range 1.3-12.4 years, with 86% percent congenitally deaf, and 14% acquired deafness. Parents responded to 74 statements on a Likert scale; the responses exploring the process of implantation have been reported in a previous paper. Those responses reporting the outcomes for children and families following implantation are analysed in this paper.
Parents reported that they were largely satisfied with the outcomes from implantation: that their children developed greater confidence, were more independent, that the use of spoken language had developed greatly and that communication within the family had improved. The children did not need more support from their parents than before implantation and the support parents were giving was more productive.
However, there still remained concerns: parents needed to be patient as progress took time, and a number remained concerned about future education and felt that outcomes from implantation had not met their expectations.
The children were considered reliant on their implant systems and hence on the optimal functioning of the technology; this demands long-term management to ensure that those dealing with the technology on a daily basis have the skills and equipment to manage them optimally
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