Objective: To evaluate speech perception skills in everyday situations following Unilat-eral Cochlear Implantation in prelingual deaf patients in relation to the age of implanta-tion.
Method: 45 prelingual deaf patients who un-derwent unilateral Cochlear Implantation un-der B.J. Medical College Cochlear and Hearing Implant Programme from April 2007 to Au-gust 2010 were included in the study. Participants were divided into 5 groups on basis of age at which participants underwent implan-tation: ≤3 years, 3 to 6 years, 6 to 9 years, 9 to 12 years, 12 to 15 years. The MAIS Question-naire was administered before implantation un-aided and at three post-implant switch-on time periods 6 months, 1 year and 2 years with Coch-lear Implant alone. The study was retrospective and prospective comparative interventional type. Significance of difference between individ-ual preoperative and postoperative scores was evaluated using the post hoc test of repeated measure analysis.
Results: Pre-op average MAIS Questionnaire score was ≤8/40 in all implanted age groups with score increasing over time to attain aver-age score ranging from 34 to 37.44/40 in all im-planted age groups after two years of implanta-tion.The score increased significantly (p<0.05) in all im-planted age groups from pre- to post-CI. Improved ratings were found for those implanted at younger age (≤3 years) than those implanted later.
Discussion: There is significant improvement in speech perception skills in everyday situations after cochlear implantation which continues to improve over time. Better results were seen in those im-planted at younger age.