Cognitive Abilities and Quality of Life After Cochlear Implantation in the Elderly

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To evaluate quality of life (QoL) and cognitive function in elderly patients with cochlear implants relative to auditory improvement, using geriatric validated scales.

Study Design:

Prospective observational study.


A tertiary referral center for cochlear implantation (CI) and a geriatric center in Nancy, France.


Sixteen consecutive patients were included, from 65 to 80 years old, with postlingual severe-to-profound deafness.

Main Outcome Measures:

Evaluations were conducted before and at 6 and 12 months after cochlear implant surgery. A monosyllabic word recognition test was used to measure speech perception. QoL was evaluated by the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment for elderly people; cognitive function was evaluated by the Mini-Mental State Examination; depression was evaluated by the Hamilton Scale; autonomy was evaluated by the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living.


Speech intelligibility evolved from 10% before surgery to 63% and 69% at 6 and 12 months after cochlear implant activation, respectively. QoL showed significant improvement in sensory abilities. The Mini-Mental State Examination evaluations remained stable and executive functions tended to improve. Autonomy improved significantly.


Cochlear implantation improves autonomy and the QoL in the elderly. Cognitive functions are not influenced by surgery, but executive functions appear to benefit from implantation. Age should not be a limiting factor, and cochlear implantation can be proposed as an efficient treatment for severe-to-profound hearing loss in the elderly.

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