gms | German Medical Science

84th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

08.05. - 12.05.2013, Nürnberg

Compliance in early deafened patients after late cochlear implantation

Meeting Abstract

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 84th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Nürnberg, 08.-12.05.2013. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2013. Doc13hno16

doi: 10.3205/13hno16, urn:nbn:de:0183-13hno166

Published: July 30, 2013

© 2013 Giourgas et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Minor spoken language competence and poor understanding of speech after cochlear implantation could be considered as a factor causing dissatisfaction and discontinuation of use of the device. In order to give an overview of the compliance in early deafened (i.e. prelingually deafened) patients, a retrospective analysis of data was carried out.

Methods: 119 early deafened patients were included, who received their cochlear implant between 1986 and 2012. The mean age at onset of deafness was 0.2 years (0–2 y). The mean age at implantation was 19.7 years (7-67 y). Based on the patients’ spoken language competence, two groups were built: GR1) 59 patients with unintelligible or non-existent spoken language and GR2) 60 patients with a spoken language hard to be understood, and with deficits throughout all linguistic levels. According to the documentation during the after care, patients were divided into 5 groups of compliance. Speech understanding was measured with the Freiburger Polysyllables Test (FPT).

Results: A between-groups-comparison reveals a significant difference in the FPT scores (p<0.001; GR1: MD=0%, GR2: MD=40%). In 7 patients of GR1 there is some suspicion of non-usage of the cochlear implant or the discontinuation was clearly documented (GR2=0 patients). 9 patients of GR1 revealed to be partial users (GR2=4), 4 patients didn’t visit the yearly follow-ups for over 5 years and are unreachable (GR2=1), and 9 patients changed the centre of aftercare (GR2=0). 30 patients could be identified as reliable users (GR2=55).

Conclusion: Lack of spoken language competence in early deafened patients can be considered as a certain risk factor for the compliance after cochlear implantation in the adulthood. However, rudimentary spoken language competence influences the compliance positively.