Children using a unilateral cochlear implant and contralateral hearing aid: bimodal hearing outcomes when one ear is outside the UK (NICE 2009) audiological criteria for cochlear implantation - a single site case-control study

Iain Bruce, Simone Schaefer, Karolina Kluk, Jaya Nichani, Martin Odriscoll, Azita Rajai, Mark Sladen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction In the new revised National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE, TA566, 2019) guidelines for cochlear implantation (CI) have clearly stipulated that the hearing loss must be bilateral. Prior to this revision, children and young people (CYP) with asymmetrical thresholds have been considered for unilateral CI when one ear was in audiological criteria. Children with asymmetrical hearing loss represent an important cohort of potential CI candidates, who will continue to be prevented from benefiting from CI unless evidence is produced to support implantation and maximise subsequent benefit. The aim of this study is to evaluate the 'real-life' hearing performance in a group of children who have received a unilateral CI and who have hearing thresholds in the contralateral ear that are outside the current UK NICE 2019 audiological criteria for CI. The contralateral ear will be aided using a conventional hearing aid (HA). The outcomes from this 'bimodal' group will be compared with a group of children who have received bilateral CI, and a group of children using bilateral HA, to extend the current knowledge about the different performance levels between bilateral CI, bilateral HA and bimodal hearing in CYP. Methods and analysis Thirty CYP aged 6-17 years old, 10 bimodal users, 10 bilateral HA users and 10 bilateral cochlear implant users will be subjected to a test battery consisting of: (1) spatial release from masking, (2) complex pitch direction discrimination, (3) melodic identification, (4) perception of prosodic features in speech and (5) TEN test. Subjects will be tested in their optimal device modality. Standard demographic and hearing health information will be collected. In the absence of comparable published data to power the study, sample size was determined on pragmatic grounds. Tests are exploratory and for hypothesis generating purposes. Therefore, the standard criterion of p<0.05 will be used. Ethics and dissemination This has been approved by the Health Research Authority and NHS REC within the UK (22/EM/0104). Industry funding was secured via a competitive researcher-led grant application process. Trial results will be subject to publication according to the definition of the outcome presented in this protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere071168
JournalBMJ Open
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Audiology
  • Paediatric otolaryngology
  • PAEDIATRICS

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