Speech intelligibility after cochlear implantation in elderly patients
23 April 2019 (online)
The provision with a cochlear implant (ci) is an effective treatment in patients with profound sensorineural hearing loss, and it is also qualified for elderly patients. A possible correlation between speech intelligibility with ci and an increasing age is to be examined.
The retrospective analysis examined the relationship between speech intelligibility and age in patients with ci. It comprised the understanding of monosyllabic words (FET), and sentences in noise (HSMn) one year after implantation. Statistical analyses were performed via non-parametric correlations and group comparisons. A sample of 173 patients was analyzed. 68 patients (Group 1) were initially implanted in an age between 78 and 89 years. 105 patients (Group 2) were implanted in an age between 17 and 42 years. Patients with short arrays or electroacoustic stimulation respectively were excluded.
Both groups had significant benefit after implantation (p < 0.001). Age at testing and scores correlated negatively (Group 1: FET r =-.131; HSMn r =-.051; Group 2: FET r =-.055; HSMn r =-.022). Group 1 scored (median): FET = 45%; HSMn = 9%. Group 2 scored (median): FET = 70%; HSMn = 17%. A Mann Whitney U Test revealed a significant difference between the two groups in the FET (p < 0.001) and the HSMn (p = 0.008) scores.
In the analysed sample, FET and HSMn scores correlated negatively with the age at testing. The correlation was stronger in the group of elderly patients. Intelligibility scores in the group of elderly patients were significantly lower in both, FET and HSMn than in the group of significantly younger patients.