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Pilot study: Cochlear implant nonuse secondary to maintenance issues in Saudi Arabian Children – Unilateral versus bilateral

1 College of Medicine, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 King Abdullah Ear Specialist Center, King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Turki Hagr,
College of Medicine, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.310988

Introduction: The study aimed to explore the implanted children's parents' attitudes toward what could be considered an acceptable period to address speech processors (SPs) dysfunction and indirectly of cochlear implantation (CI) nonuse secondary to SP's problems in unilaterally and bilaterally implanted patients. Methods: A questionnaire was administered to CI recipients from multiple centers to investigate how long it took them to seek help in case of a SP problem and how long it took them to receive a replacement/loaner device in unilateral and bilateral CI cases. The questionnaire also investigated whether they had a backup device or not. Results: One hundred and forty-three CI recipients' parents filled the questionnaire. Thirty-two percent of unilaterally implanted recipients had backup SPs in comparison to 18% only of the bilaterally implanted, yet statistically significant correlation was found between the time it took them to seek help and whether the recipient had a unilateral or bilateral CI, χ2 (5, n = 143) = 11.07, P < 0.05). Without having a backup SP, 67% of unilaterally implanted individuals sought help immediately versus 61% of the bilaterally implanted. Conclusions: CI nonuse secondary to SP issues was found to be a problem which could be due to delayed reporting or device replacement issues. SP requires daily ear specific testing and high maintenance to ensure consistent use which can be partially solved by backup devices. Some CI recipients and their families might perceive having a second CI as a backup which may contribute to the delay in seeking help for faulty SPs among the bilaterally implanted CI recipients.

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