P32Session 2 (Friday 13 January 2023, 09:00-11:00)The effectiveness of unilateral cochlear implantation on performance-based and patient-reported outcome measures in Finnish recipients
Understanding speech is essential for social interaction, and affects health, wellbeing, and quality of life (QoL). Untreated hearing loss (HL) is associated with reduced social activity, depression and cognitive decline. Severe and profound HL is routinely treated by cochlear implantation. The success of treatment is mostly assessed by performance-based outcome measures such as speech perception. The ultimate goal of cochlear implantation, however, is to improve the patient’s QoL. Therefore, patient-reported outcomes measures (PROMs) would be clinically valuable as they assess subjective benefits and overall effectiveness of treatment.
In a prospective clinical study we assessed the patient-reported benefits of 118 unilaterally implanted CI patients of an unselected Finnish patient cohort of patients with bilateral HL. The patient cohort was longitudinally followed up with repeated within-subject measurements preoperatively and at 6 and 12 months postoperatively. The main outcome measures were one performance-based speech-in-noise (SiN) test (Finnish Matrix Sentence Test), and two PROMs (Finnish versions of the Speech, Spatial, Qualities of Hearing questionnaire (SSQ) and the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ)).
The results showed significant improvements in SiN scores, from +0.8 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) preoperatively to -3.7 and -3.8 dB SNR at 6 and 12 months follow-up, respectively. Significant improvements were also found for SSQ and NCIQ scores in all subdomains from the preoperative state to 6 and 12 months after first fitting. No clinically significant improvements were observed in any of the outcome measures between 6 and 12 months. No significant association was found between SiN scores and PROMs postoperatively.
We demonstrate significant benefits of cochlear implantation in the performance-based and patient-reported outcomes in an unselected patient sample. The lack of association between performance and PROMs scores postoperatively suggests that both capture unique aspects of benefit, highlighting the need to clinically implement PROMs in addition to performance-based measures for a more holistic assessment of treatment benefit.