Awareness of Health Professionals about Candidacy of Cochlear Implant

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Tabassum Naz
Ghazal Awais Butt
Rabia Shahid
Urwah Jabbar
Hafiz Mahmood Mirza
Samia Kanwal


Background: Cochlear implants serve as a transformative solution for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss, particularly benefiting children aged 12-24 months with bilateral profound deafness who find little to no benefit from traditional hearing aids. This advanced auditory technology converts acoustic signals into electrical stimuli, directly stimulating the auditory nerve and thereby providing an essential hearing function. The determination of candidacy for cochlear implants is a collaborative process involving ENT specialists, audiologists, and speech and language pathologists. These devices significantly impact the lives of profoundly deaf individuals by offering a means to access sound and develop communication skills, crucial for their integration into a hearing world.

Objective: To assess the awareness of health professionals about candidacy of cochlear implant.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was meticulously designed, adhering to standardized protocols for data collection and analysis to enhance the reliability and validity of findings. The research unfolded in various government and private hospitals across Lahore, focusing on a specific cohort of health professionals—ENT specialists and speech and language pathologists. A total of 55 participants, both male and female, aged between 29 to 52 years, were systematically selected through non-probability convenience sampling. The assessment of awareness among these professionals regarding the candidacy for cochlear implants was conducted using a carefully structured pediatric checklist. This tool encompassed multiple items directly relating to the core candidacy criteria, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of professional knowledge and awareness. The analysis was performed using statistical methods appropriate for cross-sectional data, aiming to draw meaningful insights from the responses collected.

Results: The study's participant pool consisted of 24 ENT specialists (43.6%) and 31 speech and language pathologists (56.4%), highlighting a diverse representation of the field. Among these professionals, a significant discrepancy in awareness was observed. Those who had practical experience working in cochlear implant centers demonstrated a higher level of awareness, with nuanced understanding of both audiometric and speech-based candidacy criteria. Conversely, participants lacking this practical exposure showed considerable gaps in their knowledge, particularly in applying these criteria to pediatric cases. The numerical data revealed that only a fraction of the respondents could accurately identify all key candidacy indicators, underscoring the need for targeted educational interventions.

Conclusion: The findings of this study underline a palpable deficiency in the awareness and understanding of cochlear implant candidacy criteria among ENT specialists and speech and language pathologists. Despite the critical role these professionals play in the identification and management of potential implant candidates, a notable portion exhibited limited knowledge, especially in aspects beyond their immediate field of expertise. This gap was more pronounced among those without direct experience in cochlear implant centers, suggesting that hands-on involvement significantly contributes to a deeper comprehension of candidacy nuances. Therefore, there is an urgent need for comprehensive training programs and continued professional development opportunities to bridge these knowledge gaps, ensuring that all children who could benefit from cochlear implants are accurately identified and referred.

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How to Cite
Naz , T., Butt , G. A., Shahid , R., Jabbar , U., Mirza , H. M., & Kanwal , S. (2024). Awareness of Health Professionals about Candidacy of Cochlear Implant. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Research, 4(1), 1417–1424.
Author Biographies

Tabassum Naz , Riphah International University Lahore Pakistan.

MS Speech & Language Pathology, Riphah International University Lahore, Pakistan.

Ghazal Awais Butt , Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine Rawalpindi Pakistan.

Senior Speech Therapist, Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Rabia Shahid , Speech & Language Pathologist

Speech & Language Pathologist

Urwah Jabbar , Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine Rawalpindi Pakistan.

Speech Therapist, Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Hafiz Mahmood Mirza , Al Aleem Medical College Pakistan.

Lecturer, Al Aleem Medical College, Pakistan.

Samia Kanwal , Riphah International University Lahore Pakistan.

Senior Lecturer, Riphah International University Lahore, Pakistan.


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