The aim of this study was to describe health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes of school-going pediatric cochlear implant (CI) recipients in a South African cohort from the perspectives of parents and to relate parental ratings of HRQoL to a range of demographic variables.
Parents of school-going CI recipients completed the Children with Cochlear Implants: Parental Perspectives (CCIPP) CI specific HRQoL questionnaire. The effect of different demographic variables on HRQoL outcomes was also determined. The study sample included 54 parents of school-going (mean age = 12.2 years; 3.6 SD; range = 6.6-18.3 years) CI recipients with at least six months CI experience.
Children’s communication and general functioning with a CI received the most positive parental ratings. A number of statistically significant associations between HRQoL outcomes and demographic variables have been confirmed. A mainstream educational setting was associated with better HRQoL outcomes in terms of communication and education, while pre-lingual onset of deafness was associated with better HRQoL outcomes in terms of general functioning and well-being. Shorter duration of deafness and unilateral implantation were associated with higher parental ratings for self-reliance and well-being respectively. Longer duration of CI use was linked to better ratings for general functioning, while shorter duration of CI use was linked to improved ratings for effects of implantation.
Parents assigned positive ratings to their child’s HRQoL. This exploration of children’s HRQoL related to their CIs contributes to evidence-based pediatric CI services that support optimal psychosocial outcomes.