Pediatric cochlear implantation in Taiwan: Long-term communication outcomes

Nan Mai Wang, Tsun Sheng Huang, Che Ming Wu, Karen Iler Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/hypothesis: Cochlear implantation is an established method of auditory rehabilitation for severely and profoundly hearing impaired individuals. Although numerous studies have examined communication outcomes in pediatric cochlear implant (CI) recipients, data concerning the benefits of cochlear implantation in children who speak Mandarin Chinese are lacking. This study examined communication outcomes in 29 Mandarin-speaking children implanted at Chung Gung Memorial Hospital. Design: A prospective between-groups design was used to compare communication outcomes as a function of age at time of implantation. Methods: Children in the Younger group were implanted before 3 years of age, whereas children in the Older group were implanted after 3 years of age. Outcome measures assessed auditory thresholds, speech perception, speech intelligibility, receptive and expressive language skills, communication barriers, and communication mode. Correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between communication outcome and age at implantation. Results: Children in the Younger group demonstrated a significant level of difference on Mandarin vowels, consonants, tones, and open-set speech perception compared with the children in the Older group. Between-group differences were also shown on receptive and expressive language skills. But, no significant differences were noted on speech intelligibility or in self-ratings of communication barriers. A larger proportion of children in the Younger group used oral communication and were educated in mainstream classrooms. Communication mode change of the Younger group reached a significant level after cochlear implant. Speech perception performance was negatively correlated with age at implantation as well as chronological age. Mandarin-speaking children can obtain substantial communication benefits from cochlear implantation, with earlier implantation yielding superior results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1775-1782
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Cochlear implants
  • Communication barrier rating
  • Communication outcome
  • Language skills
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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