Cochlear implantation of prelingually deafened adults is a contentious issue and information about the outcomes of late-implanted prelingually deafened (LIPD) adults is still largely undocumented. The question this study set out to answer, is what impact a late cochlear implantation has on the communication-related outcomes, both self-reported and objectively measured, of prelingually deafened adults. Consequently, this investigation determined the auditory, language, speech-intelligibility and quality of life outcomes of a group of LIPD adults. A combined qualitative and quantitative cross-sectional research approach was utilized for this multiple case study investigation. A semi-structured interview, audiological test battery and communication assessments were conducted using seven LIPD adults of a well-established cochlear implant program in South Africa. The results of the study indicated that the LIPD adults’ objectively assessed auditory, language and speech intelligibility outcomes are poorer than would be expected from good cochlear implant users, but the self-reported outcomes indicated that they experienced the cochlear implant as worthwhile and positive. The findings of this study provide more in-depth information regarding the communication-related outcomes of this population, and this information may be used by audiologists and speech-language therapists during counselling of prelingually deafened candidates to ensure appropriate expectations. Copyright
Dissertation (MCommunication Pathology)--University of Pretoria, 2010.