OBJECTIVE : To identify and describe predictors of pediatric cochlear implantation outcomes in a South
METHODS : A retrospective study of 301 pediatric cochlear implant (CI) recipients from five CI programs
was conducted and cross-sectional outcome data were added at the time of data collection. Twenty
potential prognostic factors were identified from the retrospective dataset, including demographical, CI,
risk and family factors. Multiple regression analyses were performed to identify predictor variables that
influence outcomes in terms of auditory performance (CAP scores), speech production (SIR scores),
communication mode and educational placement.
RESULTS : Although implanted children within this sample did not have equal opportunity to access a second
implant, bilateral implantation was strongly predictive of better auditory performance and speech
production scores, an oral mode of communication and mainstream education. NICU admittance/
prematurity were associated with poorer auditory performance and speech production scores, together
with a higher probability for non-oral communication and non-mainstream education. The presence of one
or more additional developmental condition was predictive of poorer outcomes in terms of speech
production and educational placement, while a delay between diagnosis and implantation of more than
one year was also related to non-mainstream education. Ethnicities other than Caucasian were predictive of
poorer auditory performance scores and a lower probability for mainstream education.
CONCLUSION : An extensive range of prognostic indicators were identified for pediatric CI outcomes in South
Africa. These predictive factors of better and poorer outcomes should guide pediatric CI services to promote
optimal outcomes and assist professionals in providing evidence-based informational counseling.