Patient journey from hearing aids to cochlear implant : a retrospective study. (2020)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
Authorsde Jongh, Natasha Kateshow all
Aims: This study was conducted to develop a better understanding of the transitional journey from hearing aids (HA) to receiving a privately funded cochlear implant (CI) in adults with postlingual hearing impairment (HI), to determine the sources of funding for the CI and corresponding rehabilitative treatment and to establish if individuals who privately funded their CI have similar outcomes to those who have them publicly funded.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews, developed from the life adjustment model were conducted with 12 privately funded CI users. Interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed to find common themes and sub-themes. The Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire and AQoL-6D were used to help support the interviews findings.
Results: Within the four stages (Before Rehabilitation, During Rehabilitation, After Rehabilitation and Throughout Journey), a total of 24 themes were identified. Each theme had between 1 to 12 sub-themes. This thesis found that participants were struggling and believed a CI was the only option forward. Overcoming the substantial cost was the most common barrier in their journey. Although the adjustment after implantation was challenging, participants collectively had a positive outlook towards CIs along their journey. The abundance of sub-themes highlighted the diversity in each participant’s journey.
Conclusions: Due to the absence of qualitative research in New Zealand (NZ) studying CI users, there is a need for more research to be conducted in this field. The findings highlighted the persistent concern that public funding for CIs in NZ is not adequate. An increase in public funding and/or alternative funding methods should be considered. The importance of patient-centred care is apparent, it is advised that hearing professionals keep up to date with information that can assist them in providing a higher level of care.