Article  |   December 2009
Pediatricians’ Knowledge of, Experience With, and Comfort Levels for Cochlear Implants in Children
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melody R. Mathews
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Carole E. Johnson
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Jeffrey L. Danhauer
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Contact author: Carole E. Johnson, Department of Communication Disorders, 1199 Haley Center, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849. E-mail: johns19@auburn.edu.
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology
Article   |   December 2009
Pediatricians’ Knowledge of, Experience With, and Comfort Levels for Cochlear Implants in Children
American Journal of Audiology December 2009, Vol.18, 129-143. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2009/09-0002)
History: Accepted 09 Jun 2009 , Received 14 Jan 2009
American Journal of Audiology December 2009, Vol.18, 129-143. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2009/09-0002)
History: Accepted 09 Jun 2009 , Received 14 Jan 2009

Purpose: Pediatricians are vital to early hearing detection and intervention programs (EHDIPs) and influence families’ decisions and compliance with recommendations for their children having hearing loss. Pediatricians need current, accurate knowledge about diagnostics and treatments including cochlear implants (CIs). This study assessed pediatricians’ knowledge about, experience with, and comfort levels for CIs in children.

Method: Questionnaires were mailed to a total of 220 pediatricians in 9 cities in Alabama.

Results: Nine questionnaires were undeliverable; of the remaining 211 surveys, 29 were returned (for a response rate of 13.7%), and 26 of those were usable. The results were consistent with other studies. All respondents focused on pediatrics; most were medical homes experienced with children having sensorineural hearing loss. Less than half had counseled families about CIs but had patients using them. Over half had not recommended CIs in 5 years. Several were unsure about current EHDIP goals and CIs in children. Over half were completely uncomfortable determining children’s CI candidacy but were comfortable referring them to specialists. About a third were completely uncomfortable discussing CIs with and counseling families about them; most were comfortable with CIs being used in children over other habilitative options.

Conclusions: These pediatricians demonstrated deficits in current, accurate knowledge about EHDIPs and CIs in children. Audiologists should help them obtain needed information.

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