Original Research

Exploration of factors influencing the preservation of residual hearing following cochlear implantation

Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Katherine Gautschi-Mills
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 66, No 1 | a607 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v66i1.607 | © 2019 Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Katherine Gautschi-Mills | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 August 2018 | Published: 10 April 2019

About the author(s)

Katijah Khoza-Shangase, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Katherine Gautschi-Mills, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Increasing access to cochlear implants within the resource-constrained South African context calls for careful investigation of all factors that might influence benefit from this technological advancement.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate preservation of hearing following cochlear implant surgery and whether a relationship existed between the post-operative hearing findings and certain factors.

Methods: Within a quantitative paradigm, a retrospective data review design was adopted where a sample consisting of audiological records from 60 observations and surgical records from two cochlear implant units in South Africa was investigated. These records were selected using purposive sampling and consisted of records from participants ranging from 6 to 59 years. Comparative analysis of unaided audiological test results was pre- and post-operatively performed, where all paitents were implanted with cochlear devices. Factors documented to have a possible influence on post-operative outcomes were examined in an attempt to establish relationships that may exist. Findings were analysed by means of both inferential and descriptive statistics.

Results: The findings indicated 92% success rate in preservation of residual hearing. There was a direct correlation between surgical techniques, as well as cochlear implant type and the successful hearing findings, in the absence of surgical complications. Other factors explored did not have any negative effect on the hearing findings.

Conclusion: The study findings suggest improved surgical outcomes with enhanced surgical techniques and advanced technology, with a clear negative impact of intraoperative complications on the outcomes.


Keywords

Cochlear implant; complications; electrode; intracochlear; preservation; residual hearing.

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