Effects of Parents’ Level of Education and Economic Status on the Age at Cochlear Implantation in Children

Document Type: Original

Authors

1 Department of audiology, Faculty of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Basic Sciences in Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Research Center, Faculty of Rehabilitation,

3 Cochlear Implant Research Center, Amir-Alam Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Introduction:
Cochlear implantation can facilitate the development of communication skills in children with profound hearing loss. The objectives of our study were to determine the average ages at suspicion and diagnosis of hearing loss, amplification, intervention, and performing the cochlear implantation and to investigate the effects of the parents’ level of education and economic circumstances on the age of the child at cochlear implantation.
Materials and Methods:
The parents of 96 children with profound sensorineural hearing loss who had received a cochlear implant at Amir-Alam Cochlear Implant Center between 2008 and 2010 were asked to complete a survey. The survey included demographic information, and birth, medical, and hearing loss history of their child. Study data were obtained through the patient database in the Cochlear Implant Center and interviews with the parents.
Results:
The mean times between the age of the children at diagnosis of hearing loss and amplification, beginning the rehabilitation program, and performing the cochlear implantation were 4.05 (±0.86), 2.59 (±0.9), and 25.43 (±1.45) months, respectively; delays that were statistically significant (P≤0.004). In 47.9 percent of cases, the parents were the first people to suspect the occurrence of hearing loss in their child. Statistical analysis indicated that the age at cochlear implantation decreases as the educational level of the parents increases (P≤0.003). There was also a significant difference between parents’ economic circumstances and the age of cochlear implantation (P<0.0001).   
Conclusion:
There is still a remarkable delay between the diagnosis of hearing loss and aural rehabilitation in hearing-impaired children. Parents’ levels of education and economic circumstances have a noticeable effect on the age of cochlear implantation in hearing-impaired children.

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