OBJECTIVE : To investigate the ability of cochlear implant
(CI) recipients to physically handle and care for their hearing
implant device(s) and to identify factors that may influence
skills. To assess device management skills, a clinical survey
was developed and validated on a clinical cohort of CI
DESIGN : Survey development and validation. A prospective
convenience cohort design study.
SETTING : Specialist hearing implant clinic.
PARTICIPANTS : Forty-nine post-lingually deafened, adult CI
recipients, at least 12 months postoperative.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES : Survey test–retest reliability,
interobserver reliability and responsiveness. Correlations
between management skills and participant demographic,
audiometric, clinical outcomes and device factors. RESULTS : The Cochlear Implant Management Skills survey
was developed, demonstrating high test–retest reliability
(0.878), interobserver reliability (0.972) and responsiveness
to intervention (skills training) [t(20) = 3.913,
P = 0.001]. Cochlear Implant Management Skills survey
scores range from 54.69% to 100% (mean: 83.45%, SD:
12.47). No associations were found between handling skills
and participant factors.
CONCLUSIONS : This is the first study to demonstrate a range
in cochlear implant device handling skills in CI recipients
and offers clinicians and researchers a tool to systematically
and objectively identify shortcomings in CI recipients’ device