Cochlear Implant in Severe Impaired Psychiatric Patients: A Case Series

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Abstract

Objective:

Psychotic disorders and intelligence deficiencies are no longer contraindications for cochlear implantation regarding the revised German guidelines from May 2012. This article aims to evaluate the outcome of patients with severe psychiatric comorbidities. Therefore the database of the Cochlear Implant Center of the University Hospital of Heidelberg was investigated.

Study Design:

Retrospective case review.

Methods:

We present three patients who received a cochlear implant (CI) despite a serious psychiatric disorder. Two were sent from psychiatrists asking if a CI was possible for their profound hearing loss. One patient had acoustic hallucinations and a recurrent depressive disorder, the other had a schizophrenic psychosis and a minor impairment of intelligence. The third patient had a recurrent depressive disorder, a posttraumatic stress disorder, a chronic pain disorder, and paranoid personality traits. We discuss the preoperative diagnosis, course of diseases, and psychosocial situation.

Results:

All three patients received a CI and rehabilitation in the Cochlear Implant Center of the University Hospital of Heidelberg. All three of them opted for a second implant and developed a good hearing outcome. Free field understanding of words in quite is for all three of them over 60% in the Freiburger monosyllable test with two implants, similar to nonpsychiatric patients’ results. No patient has acceptance problems. In the long run, no aggravation of the psychiatric diseases occurred.

Conclusion:

With interdisciplinary evaluation, a cochlear implantation is possible in severely impaired psychiatric patients. For a good result the indication is to be discussed interdisciplinary.

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