Assess the clinical acceptability of direct acoustic cochlear implantation for patients with advanced otosclerosis and the support for conducting a controlled trial of its effectiveness in the United Kingdom.Background:
Emerging evidence supports the efficacy of direct acoustic cochlear implantation in patients with advanced otosclerosis whose needs cannot be managed using the combination of stapes surgery and hearing aids. A controlled trial would provide evidence for its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness to healthcare commissioners.Methods:
An online survey of clinical professionals was constructed to characterize current standard of care for patients with advanced otosclerosis and to assess whether clinicians would be willing to refer patients into a trial to evaluate direct acoustic cochlear implantation. A consensus process was conducted to define inclusion criteria for the future trial.Results:
No survey respondent considered direct acoustic cochlear implantation to be inappropriate with a majority indicating that they would refer patients into a future trial. The consensus was that there is a lack of available treatment options for those patients with bone conduction thresholds worse than 55 dB HL and who did not meet current criteria for cochlear implantation.Conclusion:
The present study confirms that a controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of direct acoustic cochlear implantation would have the support of clinicians in the United Kingdom. A feasibility study would be required to determine whether patients who meet the inclusion criteria could be recruited in a timely manner and in sufficient numbers to conduct a formal evaluation of effectiveness.