An Analytical Study on Communication Abilities and Schooling in Children with Cochlear Implantation

  • Sameer Pootheri Government Medical College Kozhikode, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
  • Ardra Kaithayulla Parambil Government Medical College Kozhikode, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
  • Naisi Baby Patani Government Medical College Kozhikode, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
Keywords: Cochlear implant usage, Cochlear implantation, Communication abilities, Educational status


Background: As per the World Health Organization 2018, the new estimate of disabling of hearing loss is 466 million people.
The State Initiative on Disabilities Survey (2015), Kerala, India, indicates that 2.32% of populations in Kerala, India, are affected
by some form of disabilities. Among them, 60,925 are hearing disabled based on the definition of hearing impairment in the
Persons with Disabilities Act 1995. A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of
sound to a person with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in both ears.
Need for the Study: Even though the Sruthitharangam scheme was started by the Government of Kerala, India, in 2012, no study
was carried out to estimate the outcomes in terms of usage of CI, education placement, and mode of communication after CI surgery.
Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the usage of CI, communication abilities, and schooling in CI
children who have undergone surgery under Kerala Government free CI program. The current study was to report the usage
of cochlear implantation, the education status, and mode of communication of the children who had undergone, free of cost CI
surgery from June 2012 to December 2015 in Kerala, India.
Materials and Methods: The demographical data were collected from the register maintained at Government Medical College,
Kozhikode, Kerala, India. The study was a cross-sectional study and the data were collected through the telephonic interview of 114
parents or caregivers among 132 parents who had undergone free CI surgery from June 2012 to December 2015 at Government
Medical College Kozhikode. Eighteen parents or caregivers could not be contacted due to unavailability or change of contact number
and data collection was possible only for 114 parents among the 132 parents. All the children had attended a minimum of 2 years of
post-implantation Auditory-Verbal Habilitation (AVH) from Sruthitharangam empanelled centers. Each subject was asked questions
to understand the current usage of the device, the mode of communication, type of schooling, and associated issues that affect the
prognosis of CI is also considered. The obtained responses were scored accordingly and tabulated for further statistical analysis.
Observations and Results: The result reveals that among the 114 CI recipients, 93.8% (107 recipients) were using CI and 6.14%
(seven recipients) were non-users. These data found that all children were enrolled in school and attending in variety of educational
settings. In that, 82.45% (94 children) were attending mainstream education and 17.54% (20 children) were going to special
schools. On further analysis of the communication, abilities showed that the majority of the children (75.43%) communicated orally,
21.05% of them communicated through total communication and 3.5% of them used sign language.
Conclusions: Kerala government Sruthitharangam CI program aid the majority of the children with severe to profound
sensorineural hearing loss in acquiring oral communication skills and also benefiting integration in normal schools. Steps should
be taken to reduce the number of non- users and also plan new strategies for better normal school integration for CI children
under the government scheme.

Author Biographies

Sameer Pootheri, Government Medical College Kozhikode, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Assistant Professor of Audiology, Department of ENT

Ardra Kaithayulla Parambil, Government Medical College Kozhikode, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Therapist, Department of ENT

Naisi Baby Patani, Government Medical College Kozhikode, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Speech Therapist, Department of ENT


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