May 2019 MD Linx

Question  What is the association between demographic, hearing-related, and cochlear implant–related factors and cochlear implant–related quality of life?

Meaning  Factors accounting for much of the variance within the 6 domains of the CIQOL item bank remain largely unknown.

Importance  Only limited evidence is available describing the contribution of patient-related factors to quality of life in adults with cochlear implants.

Objective  Assess the association between demographic, hearing-related, and cochlear implant–related factors and quality of life by using a new Cochlear Implant Quality of Life (CIQOL) item bank, which was developed to meet rigorous psychometric standards.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Multicentre cross-sectional study of adults 18 to 89 years of age who had at least 1 year of cochlear implant use and who were recruited through a consortium of 20 cochlear implant centres in the United States. Using an online format, questionnaires were sent to the first 500 participants who contacted the research team. Of these participants, 371 (74.2%) completed the questionnaire. Demographic, hearing-related, and cochlear implant–related data were obtained along with responses to each of the 81 items in the CIQOL item bank. Multivariable linear regression was used to examine demographic, hearing-related, and cochlear implant–related factors associated with scores in each of the 6 CIQOL domains (communication, emotional, entertainment, environment, listening effort, and social).

Main Outcomes and Measures  Association among demographic, hearing-related, and cochlear implant–related factors and CIQOL scores for each of 6 domains.

Conclusions and Relevance  Several factors were found to predict higher or lower CIQOL scores in specific domains, with speech-recognition ability having only a minimal association. Despite evaluating a large number of demographic, hearing-related, and cochlear implant–related factors, the multivariable models accounted for only a small amount of CIQOL variance. This suggests that patient or other characteristics that contribute to cochlear implant–related quality of life remain largely unknown.

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