Original Research

The effect of age of cochlear implantation on vocal characteristics in children

Kerry Knight, Simone Ducasse, Ashley Coetzee, Jeannie van der Linde, Anel Louw
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 63, No 1 | a142 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v63i1.142 | © 2016 Kerry Knight, Simone Ducasse, Ashley Coetzee, Jeannie van der Linde, Anel Louw | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 September 2015 | Published: 27 June 2016

About the author(s)

Kerry Knight, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Simone Ducasse, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Ashley Coetzee, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Jeannie van der Linde, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Anel Louw, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Early cochlear implantation aids auditory feedback and supports better communication and self-monitoring of the voice. The objective of this study was to determine whether the age of cochlear implantation has an impact on vocal development in children implanted before age 4.

Method and procedures: The study consisted of 19 participants in total. All implant recipients (experimental group) were 3–5 years post-implantation, including four prelingual (0–2 years) and five perilingual (2–4 years) implant recipients. The control group consisted of 10 children whose hearing was within normal limits between the ages 3–6 years and 10 months, which was compared to the experimental group. Established paediatric norms were used for additional comparison. A questionnaire was used to gather information from each of the participant’s caregivers to determine whether other personal and contextual factors had an impact on voice production. An acoustic analysis was conducted for each participant using the Multi-Dimensional Voice Program of the Computerized Speech Lab.

Results: When the experimental group and the control group were compared, similar results were yielded for fundamental frequency and short-term perturbation (jitter and shimmer). More variability was noted in long-term frequency and amplitude measures, with significantly higher differences, and therefore further outside the norms, in the prelingual group when compared to the perilingual and control groups.

Conclusion: In this study, age of implantation did not impact vocal characteristics. Further research should include larger sample sizes, with participants that are age and gender matched.

Keywords: cochlear implant; vocal development; age of implantation; prelingual; lingual


Keywords

cochlear implant; vocal development; age of implantation; prelingual; lingual

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Crossref Citations

1. Comparison of Fundamental Frequency between Monolingual and Bilingual Children with a Cochlear Implant
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