OBJECTIVES: The West of England Cochlear Implant Programme purchases two makes of cochlear implant (CI) for paediatric use (MED-EL and Cochlear). If the CI team has no preference, the decision regarding which implant to use is made by the patient and family. Families are provided with information about the devices and allowed time to handle dummy implants and ask questions. The aim of this study is to establish how patients make this choice and which factors are considered most important in the decision-making process.
METHOD: Patients who received a CI within the past 4 years were sent a postal survey, with reminders issued when patients attended for checkups. Patients were asked to rate certain factors from 0 to 10 depending on their importance in the decision-making process.
RESULTS: Sixty-four patients replied (response rate 74%). In most cases (83%), the parents and/or children were involved in the decision regarding the choice of implant. Eighty-nine percent of patients received information about the choices of CI from the CI team. Patients also accessed information directly from the manufacturer, from other CI users, and from websites. The most important factor in choosing CI model was robustness and reliability (mean score 9.6), followed by comfort (9.4), size/shape (9.2), and control system/ease of use (8.9). All patients were happy with the choices they made.
DISCUSSION: In this study, most patients undergoing cochlear implantation were offered a choice of model. Robustness, reliability, comfort, and size/shape of CI are considered the most important factors in this decision.
- Age Factors
- Child, Preschool
- Choice Behavior
- Cochlear Implantation
- Cochlear Implants
- Patient Satisfaction
- Surveys and Questionnaires