Pediatric cochlear implantation: Role of language, income, and ethnicity

Derek Wu, Elena Willis Woodson, Jonathan Masur, John Bent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare post-cochlear implantation (CI) early speech perception (ESP) outcomes between a non-English speaking, ethnic minority study group and an English speaking, ethnic majority control group. Study design/methods: We performed a retrospective case-control study at an academic tertiary care children's hospital. Records were reviewed of 49 children who underwent CI from February 2005 to September 2011. Children with abnormal cognitive function (n= 12), post-surgical complications (n= 1), or incomplete SP testing (n= 24) were excluded. The remaining 12 cases (mean implant age 4.3y) were reviewed for language, income, ethnicity, and ESP scores. Their scores were compared to a subset of patients (n= 18; mean implant age 2.2y) serving as control from the Childhood Development after Cochlear Implantation (CDaCI) study at 1 year follow up where standard ESP testing was performed. Briefly, CDaCI includes a demographically balanced and multicenter-based pediatric cohort from which publications are beginning to define normative post-CI SP outcomes. Results: Of our 12 children, 7 were Hispanic, 2 Caucasian, 2 multi-ethnicity and 1 Russian. 4 were non-English speaking, 5 spoke English as a second language, and 7 were bilingual. Three received bilateral CI. Mean early speech perception (ESP) scores (reported on a scale of 1-4) collected at 6 and 12 months in the study group were 1.71 and 1.75, respectively; in the control group, 3.83 and 3.92. At both follow up intervals the study group performed significantly worse than the control group (6mo P= 0.048, 12mo P= 0.01). Conclusions: This study suggests that among pediatric CI recipients, those from predominantly non-English speaking, socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds develop SP at slower than normal rates. Future interventions should be directed at overcoming these obstacles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-724
Number of pages4
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Cochlear implant
  • Pediatrics
  • Socioeconomic
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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