(HealthDay News) – Significant improvements in disease-related quality-of-life (QoL) measures are seen over time following the sequential placement of bilateral cochlear implants (BiCIs) in children with prelingual deafness, according to research published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

To evaluate the effect of sequential BiCIs on QoL, Marloes Sparreboom, of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a prospective, cohort-control study involving 30 children with prelingual deafness. Also included in the study were nine children with a unilateral cochlear implant. The primary outcome measures were QoL before the second cochlear implant surgery and after 12 and 24 months of bilateral implant use. Three generic QoL questionnaires and three disease-specific questionnaires, including the Glasgow Children’s Benefit Inventory; the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale; and the Nijmegen Cochlear implant Questionnaire, were used to assess patient QoL.

The researchers found that, while generic QoL measures were not significantly different following sequential placement of BiCIs, a significant improvement in QoL was demonstrated using the three disease-specific questionnaires. Patient age at the time of the second implant did not affect QoL measures. Overall, disease-specific QoL measures continued to improve with time.

“Gains in QoL following bilateral cochlear implantation will predominantly be seen in more disease-specific questionnaires that contain items regarding bilateral hearing,” the authors write.

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