Quality-of-Life Benefit from Cochlear Implantation in the Elderly

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To compare the audiologic results of geriatric patients receiving cochlear implants with younger age groups and to evaluate the quality of life after cochlear implantation in the geriatric population by means of validated quality-of-life questionnaires.

Study Design:

Cross-sectional study involving 89 postlingually deafened cochlear implant subjects.


Tertiary referral center.


A total of 89 postlingually deafened patients were included in the study, among which were 25 patients who were aged 70 years or older.


All patients received a cochlear implant. Subjects were implanted with either the Laura, Nucleus 24, or Med-el Combi 40+ cochlear implant systems implementing the SPEAK, ACE, CIS, or CIS+ coding strategies.

Mean Outcome Measures:

Speech recognition was determined by means of phonetically balanced monosyllabic word lists. The Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults, the Glasgow Benefit Inventory, and the scale for the prediction of hearing disability in sensorineural hearing loss were used to quantify the quality of life.


Mean audiologic performance for the three groups increased significantly after implantation (p < 0.001). Postoperative audiologic performance of the geriatric population led to useful hearing, but these scores were significantly lower than for the younger age groups (p = 0.002). However, the quality-of-life outcomes for the geriatric group were similar to those of the younger age groups (p = 0.411 for the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults; p = 0.886 for the Glasgow Benefit Inventory).


The results of this study prove that cochlear implantation in the elderly provides improvements in quality of life and speech understanding, similar to those for younger adult cochlear implant recipients.

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