Optimization of Speech Processor Fitting Strategies for Chinese-Speaking Cochlear Implantees

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Abstract

Objectives:

To compare speech recognition performance in Chinese-speaking cochlear implant patients with a speech processor program selected by the clinical audiologist in Taiwan and with a new speech processor program based on the Washington University clinical procedure developed by Skinner et al.

Study Design:

Six adult Chinese-speaking patients implanted with the Nucleus cochlear implant system participated in this study.

Methods:

A fitting procedure developed in 1995 by Skinner et al. at Washington University School of Medicine was used to create a new speech processor program to optimize each patient's hearing in everyday life. Speech tests (vowels, consonants, tones, and words), sound-field thresholds, and a self-report questionnaire were used to evaluate each patient's performance with his or her previous speech processor program and a new one.

Results:

Four of the six patients had significant changes from the previous to the new speech processor program. These changes were associated with improvement in score on at least one speech test, more sensitive sound field thresholds, and reported improvement in some everyday listening situations on the questionnaire.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that use of this procedure with adult cochlear implantees may improve benefit in everyday life. Analysis of the speech test stimuli and patients' responses provides a basis for modification or creation of new Mandarin Chinese speech tests for preoperative and postoperative evaluation of adult cochlear implant patients.

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