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Authors Potts LG, Litovsky RY
Author Profile(s)
Journal Am J Audiol Volume: 23 Issue: 1 Pages: 79-92
Publish Date 2014 Mar
PubMed ID 24018578
PMC ID 4195793

The use of bilateral stimulation is becoming common for cochlear implant (CI) recipients with either (a) a CI in one ear and a hearing aid (HA) in the nonimplanted ear (CI&HA-bimodal) or (b) CIs in both ears (CI&CI-bilateral). The objective of this study was to evaluate 4 individuals who transitioned from bimodal to bilateral stimulation.Participants had completed a larger study of bimodal hearing and subsequently received a second CI. Test procedures from the bimodal study, including roaming speech recognition, localization, and a questionnaire (the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale; Gatehouse & Noble, 2004) were repeated after 6-7 months of bilateral CI experience.Speech recognition and localization were not significantly different between bimodal and unilateral CI. In contrast, performance was significantly better with CI&CI compared with unilateral CI. Speech recognition with CI&CI was significantly better than with CI&HA for 2 of 4 participants. Localization was significantly better for all participants with CI&CI compared with CI&HA. CI&CI performance was rated as significantly better on the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale compared with CI&HA.There was a strong preference for CI&CI for all participants. The variability in speech recognition and localization, however, suggests that performance under these stimulus conditions is individualized. Differences in hearing and/or HA history may explain performance differences.

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