Aural/oral performance in children with bimodal stimulation or unilateral cochlear implant
Background and Aim: Sound processors in cochlear implant (CI) cannot encode low frequency information and discard much of the temporal fine structure required to perceive fundamental frequency. Hearing aids can transmit low frequency information, which is important for pitch perception and provides many advantages for the users. This study aimed to compare aural/oral performance of bimodal cochlear implants with unilateral ones in children using parents' evaluation of aural/oral performance of children (PEACH) questionnaire.
Methods: Twenty children with unilateral cochlear implant and 20 ones with bimodal cochlear implants were selected for this study. Of them, 23 had cochlear devices, 10 possessed Med-El ones, and 7 wore advanced bionics ones. Bimodal group had at least 7 months of hearing experience with digital hearing aid in non-implanted ear. In order to compare the aural/oral performance in these groups, we used the PEACH questionnaire.
Results: In unilateral and bimodal groups, age of implantation and age of testing and hearing experience before CI use were not significantly different. However, there was a significant difference in quiet score, noise score, and total score between unilateral and bimodal groups (p<0.05).
Conclusion: In bimodal group, aural/oral performance was significantly improved in quiet and noise situations in comparison with unilateral group. This improvement is due to the advantage of binaural processing and low frequency information provided by the hearing aid.
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