Psychosocial Outcomes in Long-Term Cochlear Implant Users

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Abstract

Objectives:

The objectives of this study were to investigate psychosocial outcomes in a sample of prelingually deaf, early-implanted children, adolescents, and young adults who are long-term cochlear implant (CI) users and to examine the extent to which language and executive functioning predict psychosocial outcomes.

Design:

Psychosocial outcomes were measured using two well-validated, parent-completed checklists: the Behavior Assessment System for Children and the Conduct Hyperactive Attention Problem Oppositional Symptom. Neurocognitive skills were measured using gold standard, performance-based assessments of language and executive functioning.

Results:

CI users were at greater risk for clinically significant deficits in areas related to attention, oppositional behavior, hyperactivity–impulsivity, and social-adaptive skills compared with their normal-hearing peers, although the majority of CI users scored within average ranges relative to Behavior Assessment System for Children norms. Regression analyses revealed that language, visual–spatial working memory, and inhibition–concentration skills predicted psychosocial outcomes.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that underlying delays and deficits in language and executive functioning may place some CI users at a risk for difficulties in psychosocial adjustment.

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