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23-11-2011 | Speech-language pathology | Article

Motor delay ‘no barrier to cochlear implantation’


Free abstract

MedWire News: Cochlear implants can help children with hearing loss and concomitant motor developmental delay (MDD), a study by Iranian researchers has shown.

They say that cochlear implants should therefore be considered for children with MDD, just as they already are in children with normal motor development.

Jaleh Yousefi (Baqiyatallah University, Tehran) and colleagues undertook a cohort study in which they compared speech perception and intelligibility outcomes in 262 deaf children given cochlear implants. The children's mean age was 4.09 years.

A total of 28 children (10%) were considered to have motor delay under the Gross Motor Function Classification while the remainder had normal motor development.

The study, reported in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, found that mean scores on the Categories of Auditory Perception scales (CAP) were significantly higher at 24 months after device activation compared with baseline (5.38 vs 0.482).

Similarly, mean Speech Intelligibility Rating (SIR) scores rose from 0.38 at baseline to 2.507 at 24 months.

These improvements were seen in children both with and without motor delay. Mean CAP scores at 24 months were 5.03 in children with MDD versus 5.77 in children with normal motor development, while mean SIR scores were 2.53 and 2.66, respectively. Neither difference was statistically significant.

Secondary endpoints, such as the proportion of children achieving a CAP score of 5 or above, and the proportion with a SIR score of 3 or above, were also similar between the groups.

Yousefi et al say that their study adds to growing evidence of the effectiveness of cochlear implants in children with deafness and additional disabilities. Implants have now been shown to improve outcomes in children with cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, and autistic spectrum disorder, they note.

They conclude: "Developmentally delayed children can benefit from cochlear implantation like other normal developed children, especially those with motor developmental delay."

By Joanna Lyford

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