To be hearing impaired does not have to mean a decreased quality of life. Those are the findings of an American study which has just been published.
“For profoundly deaf children who regularly use a cochlear implant, feelings about life overall are no better or worse than their hearing peers. The findings indicate that cochlear implantation has a positive effect on certain psycho-social domains,” informs Dr. Loy, lead author of the research from Dallas Cochlear Implant Program.
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device on the inner ear which provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.
Study results help parents in considering implants
The findings are important, as prior research has indicated that deaf children often feel less socially accepted, experience more difficulty in making friends and demonstrate greater adjustment problems than their hearing peers. The study results can therefore be useful to parents considering cochlear implants for their children.
“Parents want to know: ”?Is my kid going to be made fun of? How is my kid going to feel about himself with this apparatus on the head?” explains Dr. Loy.
The researchers asked 84 children between the ages of 8 and 16 years with cochlear implants how they felt about themselves, their family lives, their friends and school. The responses were compared with those of a control group of 1.501 children with normal hearing. The children's parents also participated in the survey.
Though the overall quality-of-life scores were very similar to those of the control group, the younger children appeared to be happier than the adolescents but scored their family lives lower than did children with normal hearing.
The study was published in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.
Sources: http://www.eurekalert.org and