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Factors Affecting Choice of Device by Cochlear Implant Candidates

Migirov, Lela*; Taitelbaum-Swead, Riki; Hildesheimer, Minka; Wolf, Michael*; Kronenberg, Jona*

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3181b285bd
Cochlear Implants

Objective: To investigate the ways the various cochlear devices are chosen by candidates/surrogates and analyze the factors that influenced their decisions.

Setting: University-affiliated tertiary referral center.

Method: A questionnaire that included general items and questions on device's aesthetics, technical considerations, and quality was sent to 429 patients who underwent cochlear implantation between June 1997 and December 2006 in our department.

Results: One hundred eighty-four questionnaires were returned, yielding a response rate of 42.9%. Some patients did not receive the questionnaires because of the postal address changes. In addition, recently implanted patients/their surrogates were more ready to answer on the questionnaire on decision-making process compared with those who received their devices before 2001. The Nucleus users were more influenced by the questions pertaining to the quality/reliability of the device than the aesthetic and technical aspects. The ABC users were more influenced by the aesthetic aspects, and the MED-EL users were generally influenced by all the groups of questions equally. Females used the Internet as the source of information on the devices significantly more than males, and their decisions were more influenced by their families than those of the males. In addition, the females were more influenced by the quality of a device's function compared with males. Pediatric candidates (aged 1-16 yr) were significantly more influenced by the experience of other implant users, the medical staff, and religious considerations than adults. Adults arrived at decisions more easily than children or their surrogates. The adults and older children were more influenced by the ease of the device's functioning compared with the young children.

Conclusion: Choosing the type of cochlear implant device is a highly individualized process that depends on various personal, social and cultural factors, and factors linked directly to the device itself.

*Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and †Speech and Hearing Center, Sheba Medical Center, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lela Migirov, M.D., Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, 5262l, Israel; E-mail:

© 2009 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.