Journal Article

Health Disparities in Pediatric Cochlear Implantation: An Audiologic Perspective

Ear and Hearing | October 01, 2009
Kirkham, Erin; Sacks, Chana; Baroody, Fuad; Siddique, Juned; Nevins, Mary Ellen; Woolley, Audie; Suskind, Dana


A national survey of pediatric cochlear implant (PCI) audiologists offers evidence showing that audiologists perceive a negative effect of low Socioeconomic Status (SES) on postimplant speech and language outcomes. Audiologists delineated internal factors of parental influence (i.e. parental self-efficacy, adherence and habilitation carryover) and external factors (i.e. educational/economic resources and inadequate therapy), as primary reasons for this disparity. Audiologists offer suggestions to reduce the inequality, most importantly highlighting the need for increased parental involvement in the habilitation process, improvements in CI-related services, and greater focus on the development of culturally sensitive programs to aid parents in the at-home habilitation process.