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Differences in perception of hearing handicap between cochlear implant users and their spouses

Authors

  • Dipan Mistry MBChB,

    1. Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
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  • Jillian Ryan MSc, Aud(c),

    1. NewLife Hearing Health Centre, St. John's, Newfoundland
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  • Heather Maessen MSc, Aud(c),

    1. Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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  • Manohar Bance MB, MSc

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
    • Send correspondence to Manohar Bance, MB, Division of Otolaryngology, Dalhousie University, 3184 Dickson Building, VGH Site, QEII HSC, 1278 Tower Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 2Y9. E-mail: m.bance@dal.ca

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  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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

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