Longitudinal Benefit From and Satisfaction With the Baha System for Patients With Acquired Unilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss

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Abstract

Objective:

To analyze the short-, medium-, and long-term benefits from and satisfaction with the Baha for patients with profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).

Design:

Prospective clinical study.

Setting:

Head and Neck Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

Patients:

Eight patients with acquired profound unilateral SNHL.

Interventions:

Patients underwent unaided baseline testing and aided Baha testing using laboratory and self-report measures at 6 postfitting intervals.

Main Outcome Measures:

Laboratory measures included the revised Speech Perception in Noise test, Hearing in Noise Test, and localization testing. Disease-specific self-report measures included the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit, Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults, and Single-Sided Deafness Questionnaire. The Medical Outcomes Study SF-36 Health Survey was used to assess health-related quality of life.

Results:

Based on 95% confidence intervals for unaided testing, significant improvements on aided revised Speech Perception in Noise, Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit, and Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults scores were sustained during the 18-month test interval. Variable performance was observed for the Hearing in Noise Test over time and patients. No acclimatization effects were shown for localization testing or the generic health-related quality-of-life measure. Patients reported satisfaction in a variety of situations as quantified by the Single-Sided Deafness Questionnaire in the long-term.

Conclusion:

The Baha is effective in reducing psychosocial consequences of unilateral profound SNHL for the long-term. Improvement in speech understanding occurred when the primary signal was spatially separated from background noise. Localization performance did not improve with Baha use. Overall, patients were satisfied with their Baha and would still elect to have this procedure if given a second chance.

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