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Speech recognition growth in pediatric CI listeners (Arjmandi et al., 2022)

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posted on 2022-06-29, 15:48 authored by Meisam K. Arjmandi, Barbara S. Herrmann, Benjamin Caswell-Midwinter, Elizabeth M. Doney, Julie G. Arenberg

Purpose: Characterizing and comparing speech recognition development in children with cochlear implants (CIs) is challenging because of variations in test type. This retrospective cohort study modified the Pediatric Ranked Order Speech Perception (PROSPER) scoring system to (a) longitudinally analyze the speech perception of children with CIs and (b) examine the role of age at CI activation, listening mode (i.e., unilateral or bilateral implantation), and interimplant interval.

Method: Postimplantation speech recognition scores from 31 children with prelingual, severe-to-profound hearing loss who received CIs were analyzed (12 with unilateral CI [UniCI], 13 with sequential bilateral CIs [SEQ BiCIs], and six with simultaneous BiCIs). Data were extracted from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Audiology database. A version of the PROSPER score was modified to integrate the varying test types by mapping raw scores from different tests into a single score. The PROSPER scores were used to construct speech recognition growth curves of the implanted ears, which were characterized by the slope of the growth phase, the time from activation to the plateau onset, and the score at the plateau.

Results: While speech recognition improved considerably for children following implantation, the growth rates and scores at the plateau were highly variable. In first implanted ears, later implantation was associated with poorer scores at the plateau (β = −0.15, p = .01), but not growth rate. The first implanted ears of children with BiCIs had better scores at the plateau than those with UniCI (β = 0.59, p = .02). Shorter interimplant intervals in children with SEQ BiCIs promoted faster speech recognition growth of the first implanted ears.

Conclusion: The modified PROSPER score could be used clinically to track speech recognition development in children with CIs, to assess influencing factors, and to assist in developing and evaluating patient-specific intervention strategies.

Supplemental Material S1. Demographic information regarding age at hearing aid (HA) fitting and duration of HA use.

Supplemental Material S2. The trajectory of speech recognition development for the second implanted ears of children with sequential bilateral implantation. 

Arjmandi, M. K., Herrmann, B. S., Caswell-Midwinter, B., Doney, E. M., & Arenberg, J. G. (2022). A modified pediatric ranked order speech perception score to assess speech recognition development in children with cochlear implants. American Journal of Audiology. Advance online publication.


This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC012142 (awarded to J.G.A.).