Author(s): Lee KY, van Hasselt CA
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To study the effects of age at implantation and duration of implant use on the performance of spoken word recognition of pediatric cochlear implantees in a tonal language setting over a period of 5 years. DESIGN: Sixty-four children, given implants between the ages 1:01 and 14:09 (years:months), were divided into three age groups. They were tested on open-set word recognition ability at seven time intervals from before surgery to 5 years after surgery. Analyses of variance with repeated measurements were used to examine the effect of their age at implantation and the duration of implant use. RESULTS: Duration of implant experience was significant in spoken word recognition across the three age groups (p < 0.01). Children given implants below the age of 3 years caught up with the performance of the older children at 12 months after implantation. The difference in score reached statistical significance at 2 and at 3 years after surgery (p = 0.03, p = 0.00). CONCLUSIONS: The performance of Cantonese-speaking children was similar to that of English-speaking children in that better outcomes were associated with longer implant experience as well as when implantation occurred at a younger age. The children implanted before the age of 3 and who had an implant experience of more than 2 years outperformed the children who were given implants after the age of 6 and also sustained these higher scores throughout 5 years of postimplant testing.
This article was published in Ear Hear
and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology