Article

Longitudinal functional performance among children with cochlear implants and disabilities: A prospective study using the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory

Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, United States.
International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology (Impact Factor: 1.32). 02/2012; 76(5):693-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2012.02.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Functional outcomes are important in children with cochlear implants (CI) and additional disabilities as studies on auditory skill and speech/language development may not identify functional benefits from implantation. This study sought to measure functional performance skills of young children with developmental disabilities post-CI.
Eight children with cognitive disabilities undergoing cochlear implantation were enrolled in a prospective study of language and functional abilities; 6 with 1 year follow-up were included in the analysis. Functional performance was measured using Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI), providing standardized (mean: 50) and scaled scores (range: 0-100) of functional domains: Self-Care, Mobility and Social Function. The PEDI was administered pre-implant, 6 and 12 months post-implantation along with language testing at the same intervals.
All children had cognitive disability; 5 also had motor delay. The ages at CI ranged from 13.8 to 134 months. For functional abilities, children did not make significant changes in domain-specific standard scores over 1 year. Children made progress in scaled scores by 1-year post-implant. The largest increase for all domains occurred in the first 6 months (7-11.5 point increase). For language abilities, children made a median 5.5-month increase in receptive language age (p=0.06) and 5-month increase in expressive language age (p=0.03) in the first year post-CI with no change in language quotients. Receptive language level was significantly (p<0.05) associated with increasing scores in the domains of Self-Care and Social Function.
This is the first study to measure daily functional abilities in children with implants and disabilities using a standardized tool. Although our small group of complex children did not have an increase in standard scores (gap-closing trajectories), they made progress in skill development on scaled scores. Receptive language appears to play a key role in social functioning in this population. Functional assessments are informative for treatment planning and identifying specific areas to target intervention.

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