• Quality of life;
  • cochlear implant;
  • proxy rating


To examine the relationship between patient and proxy ratings of health-related quality of life (HRQL) in patients with cochlear implants.

Study Design

Prospective survey.


Eighty-two adult cochlear implant recipients and their spouses/partners were asked to complete the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ) and the Hearing Participation Scale (HPS) that were mailed to them.


For the NCIQ, there were 38 useable responses from recipients and 31 useable responses from the partners. There were 27 paired and useable questionnaires (i.e., from both the recipient and his/her partner). For the HPS, there were 42 useable responses from recipients and 36 useable responses from the partners. Of these, there were 35 paired questionnaires. There was good agreement between partners and patients with both the HPS (r = 0.62) and the NCIQ (r = 0.80). There was a significant statistical difference in the scoring of the Basic Sound Perception subscale between the two groups (P = .039), with spouses under-rating performance in this subscale.


For patients with cochlear implants, patients' partners corroborate patients' self-reported HRQL. In cases in which patients have sensory impairment, there may be an additional role for proxy ratings of HRQL to give a more complete assessment of functional limitations.

Level of Evidence

4. Laryngoscope, 124:1199–1203, 2014