A Follow-Up Study on Music and Lexical Tone Perception in Adult Mandarin-Speaking Cochlear Implant Users

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Objective:The aim was to evaluate the development of music and lexical tone perception in Mandarin-speaking adult cochlear implant (CI) users over a period of 1 year.Study Design:Prospective patient series.Setting:Tertiary hospital and research institute.Patients:Twenty five adult CI users, with ages ranging from 19 to 75 years old, participated in a year-long follow-up evaluation. There were also 40 normal hearing adult subjects who participated as a control group to provide the normal value range.Interventions:Musical sounds in cochlear implants (Mu.S.I.C.) test battery was undertaken to evaluate music perception ability. Mandarin Tone Identification in Noise Test (M-TINT) was used to assess lexical tone recognition. The tests for CI users were completed at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the CI switch-on.Main Outcomes Measures:Quantitative and statistical analysis of their results from music and tone perception tests.Results:The performance of music perception and tone recognition both demonstrated an overall improvement in outcomes during the entire 1-year follow-up process. The increasing trends were obvious in the early period especially in the first 6 months after switch-on. There was a significant improvement in the melody discrimination (p < 0.01), timbre identification (p < 0.001), tone recognition in quiet (p < 0.0001), and in noise (p < 0.0001).Conclusions:Adult Mandarin-speaking CI users show an increasingly improved performance on music and tone perception during the 1-year follow-up. The improvement was the most prominent in the first 6 months of CI use. It is essential to strengthen the rehabilitation training within the first 6 months.

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