Older And Younger Adult Cochlear Implant Users: Speech Recognition In Quiet And Noise, Quality Of Life, And Music Perception
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Purpose: To determine whether older cochlear implant (CI) listeners differ from younger CI listeners on measures of speech understanding, music perception, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). In the study, the authors hypothesized that speech recognition would be more difficult for older adults, especially in noisy conditions. Performance on music perception was expected to be lower for older implanted listeners. No differences between age groups were expected on HRQoL. Method: Twenty older (>60 years) and 20 younger (<60 years) implanted adults participated. Speech understanding was assessed using words and sentences presented in quiet, and sentences presented at +15, +10, and +5 dB signal-to-noise ratio conditions. Music perception was tested using the University of Washington Clinical Assessment of Music, and HRQoL was measured using the Njimegen CI survey. Results: Speech understanding was significantly lower for the older compared with the younger group in all conditions. Older implanted adults showed lower performance on music perception compared with younger implanted adults on 1 of 3 subtests. Older adults reported lower HRQoL benefit than younger adults on 3 of 6 subdomains. Conclusion: Data indicate that older CI listeners performed more poorly than younger CI listeners, although group differences appear to be task specific.