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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Cochlear implants, Hearing impaired-Rehabilitation, Neural stimulation, Hearing loss, Speech perception, Initial stimulation, Activation, Speech perception-Testing


This retrospective study investigates the short term outcome of early post-implantation stimulation in adult cochlear implant patients. Currently, most audiologists activate an implant patient's device between three and four weeks after surgery. However, it is hypothesized that due to improvements in the surgical procedure it is unnecessary to wait that long. Subjects were divided into three groups based on early (one-week post surgery), mid (two-week), and late (three weeks or more) cochlear implant activation. The patients' pre and post-implant scores on the Hearing-In-Noise-Test in Quiet (HINT-Q) were compared to determine any group differences in the effects of the implant on their speech perception. Audiological records were examined for relevant background information as well as for the HINT-Q scores obtained within the first month after initial stimulation and then 6-14 weeks post-stimulation. No major post-implantation complications were reported for any group. Across the three groups the patients showed significant improvement in their speech perception scores from their pre-implant score. However, there were no significant differences found between the groups at the one-month mark or 6-14 weeks after activation. Thus earlier activation of an adult patient's cochlear implant does not appear to either hinder or facilitate their later speech perception. It is speculated that there could be positive psychological effects of earlier activation, but these will need to be examined in subsequent studies.




59 p. : col. ill. Honors Project--Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-59)

Submitted to the Self-Designed Interdepartmental Major in Speech and Language Science