Haukedal, Torkildsen, Lyxell & Wie (2018): Parents' Perception of Health-Related Quality of Life in Children With Cochlear Implants: The Impact of Language Skills and Hearing
I: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Online first
Purpose The study compared how parents of children with cochlear implants (CIs) and parents of children with normal hearing perceive their children's health-related quality of life (HR-QOL).
Method The sample consisted of 186 Norwegian-speaking children in the age span of 5;0–12;11 (years;months): 106 children with CIs (53% boys, 47% girls) and 80 children with normal hearing (44% boys, 56% girls). No children had known additional disabilities affecting language, cognitive development, or HR-QOL. Parents completed the generic questionnaire Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (Varni, Seid, & Kurtin, 2001), whereas children completed a test battery measuring different aspects of language and hearing.
Results Parents of children with CIs reported statistically significantly poorer HR-QOL in their children, on Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory total score and the subdomains social functioning and school functioning. Roughly 50% of parents of children with CIs reported HR-QOL levels (total score) within normal limits. No significant differences between groups emerged on the physical health and emotional functioning subscales. For the children in the group with CIs, better speech perception in everyday situations was associated with higher proxy-ratings of HR-QOL. Better spoken language skills were weakly to moderately associated with higher HR-QOL.
Conclusions The findings suggest that the social and school situation is not yet resolved satisfactorily for children with CIs. Habilitation focusing on spoken language skills and better sound environment may improve social interactions with peers and overall school functioning.