Telephone use and performance in cochlear implant candidates
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Telephones are an integral part of everyday life in today's society. It is well known that hearing impaired people have difficulty understanding speech on the telephone. The ability to use the telephone is commonly reported as one of the many benefits of cochlear implantation. Assessment for a cochlear implant (CI) includes a variety of aspects related to communication and hearing ability. Included in the case history, mention is made whether the person can use the telephone. The purpose of the present study was firstly to identify if the inability to use the telephone could be used a predictor for suitability for a cochlear implant. It was also purposed to determine if telephone ability could be assessed by self-reported measures. The participants were 13 severe to profoundly hearing impaired people who had previously undergone candidacy assessment for a cochlear implant. Each participant was evaluated on their use and understanding of speech on the telephone. Participants were separated into two groups: those who were candidates for a cochlear implant and those who were not. Speech perception testing was evaluated using a recording of CUNY sentences on the telephone. Results indicated that cochlear implant candidates correctly perceived a significantly lower number of words on the telephone than non-candidates. Use of the telephone was evaluated using a 51-item questionnaire. Results indicated that there was no significant difference in self-reported use of the telephone between cochlear implant candidates and non-candidates. The differences in speech perception understanding on the telephone were most likely due to the overall better hearing levels of the non-candidates. The clinical implications of the present study are considered.