Graeme Clark Collection

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    The effect of language ability and residual hearing on speech perception outcomes for older children using multichannel cochlear implants [Abstract]
    Dowell, Richard C. ; Dettman, Shani J. ; Hill, Katie ; Winton, Elizabeth ; Hollow, Rod ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2002)
    Early-deafened teenagers or young adults have shown somewhat disappointing performance with cochlear implants in the past, however, in recent years a proportion of older children have demonstrated excellent speech perception performance. There is a great deal of variability in speech perception performance within this group. It is important to investigate the factors influencing performance so that adolescents and their families can make informed decisions regarding cochlear implant surgery. This study considered a number of possible predictive factors in a group of 25 children implanted in Melbourne between the ages of 8 and 18 years. Subjects completed open set speech perception testing using BKB sentences both pre-and postoperatively, and pre-operative language testing using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Data were collected regarding the type of hearing loss, age at implant, age at hearing aid fitting, audiometric details, and the pre-and post-operative communication mode. Multivariate analysis suggested that three factors were associated with postoperative speech perception performance. Results were improved for subjects with better pre-operative speech perception, better pre-operative language ability, and when the duration of profound hearing loss was shorter. These three factors accounted for 66% of the variance in this group. The results of this study suggest that children who have useful pre-implant speech perception, and higher age-equivalent scores on language measures, would be expected to do well with a cochlear implant. A shorter duration of profound hearing loss is also advantageous. Mean speech perception scores for the older group were not significantly different from younger children.
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    The effects of post-implant habilitation on long-term outcomes for children using multichannel cochlear implants [Abstract]
    Dowell, Richard C. ; Dettman, Shani J. ; WILLIAMS, SARAH ; TOMOV, ALEXANDRA ; Hollow, Rod ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2002)
    Those working in the cochlear implant field advocate a regular habilitation program for young children receiving implants. Developing auditory skills and the incorporating these into general language development are considered to be key areas for such programs. Investigations of speech perception and language outcomes have demonstrated that the emphasis of spoken language development appears to enhance the results for implanted children. It remains difficult, however, to demonstrate the effect of habilitation as a separate factor and to determine how much individual attention is desirable for each child. This preliminary study considered the long term speech perception and language outcomes for two groups of children who received Nucleus cochlear implants in Melbourne. The first group (n = 17) was identified as receiving regular habilitation from the Melbourne Cochlear Implant Clinic over a four year post-operative period. A second group (n = 11) was identified as receiving very little regular habilitation over the post-operative period. Language and speech perception results for these two groups showed significant differences in performance on a wide range of measures. The group who received regular, formal habilitation demonstrated better performance on all measures. These groups included only congenitally, profoundly hearing- impaired children and did not differ significantly on mean age at implant or experience at the time of assessment. A more comprehensive study is needed to clarify these results on a larger group of children, and to control for additional confounding variables. Nonetheless, these results provide support for the incorporation of regular long-term habilitation into cochlear implant programs for children.
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    Predicting speech perception results for children using multichannel cochlear implants [Abstract]
    Dowell, Richard C. ; Dettman, Shani J. ; WILLIAMS, SARAH ; Hill, Katie ; TOMOV, ALEXANDRA ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2002)
    It is most helpful in counselling families considering cochlear implantation to have some ability to predict outcomes for individual hearing-impaired children. Speech perception results for open-set words and sentences have been collected for all children implanted with the Nucleus device in Melbourne. Assessments are available at approximately six month intervals following implantation, Data was collected for each child regarding type of hearing loss, duration and age at onset of profound hearing loss, age at implantation, pre and post-implant communication mode, developmental delay, speech coding scheme and implant experience. These data were used as predictor variables in step-wise multiple linear regression analyses with the speech perception scores as the dependent variables. Shorter duration of profound hearing loss, later onset of profound hearing loss, exclusively oral communication mode following implantation, and longer implant experience were associated with significantly (p < 0.00 I) improved open-set speech perception. The use of the SPEAK signal coding scheme was shown to provide significantly better speech perception performance for children (p < 0.00 I). Developmental delay was associated with poorer speech perception outcomes (p < 0.0 I). Over 50% of the variance in speech perception scores was accounted for by these variables. The study suggests that younger implantation for congenitally deaf children leads to improved speech perception results. On the other hand, the development of auditory language skills in implanted children may be as important as age at implantation in enhancing long term outcomes. Regression equations derived from these results can be used to predict outcomes for cochlear implant candidates with a reasonable accuracy.
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    Speech perception outcomes in older children who use multichannel cochlear implants: Older is not always poorer
    Dowell, RC ; Dettman, SJ ; Hill, K ; Winton, E ; Barker, EJ ; Clark, GM (ANNALS PUBL CO, 2002-05-01)
    Speech perception outcomes for early-deafened children who undergo implantation as teenagers or young adults are generally reported to be poorer than results for young children. It is important to provide appropriate expectations when counseling adolescents and their families to help them make an informed choice regarding cochlear implant surgery. The considerable variation of results in this group makes this process more difficult. This study considered a number of factors in a group of 25 children who underwent implantation in Melbourne between the ages of 8 and 18 years. Each subject completed open-set speech perception testing with Bamford-Kowal-Bench sentences before and after implantation and preoperative language testing with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Data were collected regarding the type of hearing loss, age at implantation, age at hearing aid fitting, audiometric details, and preoperative and postoperative communication mode. Results were submitted to a stepwise multiple linear regression analysis with postoperative open-set sentence scores as the dependent variables. The analysis suggested that 3 factors have a significant predictive value for speech perception after implantation: preoperative open-set sentence score, duration of profound hearing loss, and equivalent language age. These 3 factors accounted for 66% of the variance in this group. The results of this study suggest that children who have useful speech perception before implantation, and higher age-equivalent scores on language measures, would be expected to do well with a cochlear implant. Consistent with other studies, a shorter duration of profound hearing loss is also advantageous. The mean sentence score for this group, 47%, was not significantly different from the mean result across all children in the Melbourne program.
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    Speech perception in children using cochlear implants: prediction of long-term outcomes.
    Dowell, RC ; Dettman, SJ ; Blamey, PJ ; Barker, EJ ; Clark, GM (Maney Publishing, 2002-03)
    A group of 102 children using the Nucleus multichannel cochlear implant were assessed for open-set speech perception abilities at six-monthly intervals following implant surgery. The group included a wide range of ages, types of hearing loss, ages at onset of hearing loss, experience with implant use and communication modes. Multivariate analysis indicated that a shorter duration of profound hearing loss, later onset of profound hearing loss, exclusively oral/aural communication and greater experience with the implant were associated with better open-set speech perception. Developmental delay was associated with poorer speech perception and the SPEAK signal coding scheme was shown to provide better speech perception performance than previous signal processors. Results indicated that postoperative speech perception outcomes could be predicted with an accuracy that is clinically useful.
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    Variation in speech perception scores among children with cochlear implants
    Sarant, JZ ; Blamey, PJ ; Dowell, RC ; Clark, GM ; Gibson, WPR (LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, 2001-02-01)
    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to identify common factors affecting speech perception scores in children with cochlear implants. DESIGN: Speech perception data for 167 implanted children were collected at two cochlear implant centres in Melbourne and Sydney. The data comprised audition-alone scores on open-set word and sentence tests. Children were selected on the basis that they had a Nucleus 22-electrode cochlear implant. The average age of the children was 5 yr. Information was also collected about 12 factors that may have influenced speech perception scores for each child. Analysis of covariance was used to identify factors that significantly affected speech perception scores. Pearson pairwise correlation coefficients were also calculated for all factors analyzed. RESULTS: The analyses in this study identified factors that accounted for 51%, 34%, and 45% of the variance in phoneme, word and sentence perception scores. Scores decreased by 1.4 to 2.4% per year of profound deafness prior to implantation. Children who normally use oral communication scored significantly higher than children normally using sign or simultaneous oral and sign communication. Children implanted in Sydney scored higher on average than children implanted in Melbourne. CONCLUSIONS: The results show that a significant part of the variation in speech perception scores is systematically related to audiological and environmental factors for each child. The reasons for significant differences between children using different communication modes or from different clinics were not identified.
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    The development of speech perception in children using cochlear implants: effects of etiologic factors and delayed milestones
    PYMAN, BRIAN ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Lacy, Peter ; Clark, Graeme M. ; DOWELL, RICHARD ( 2000)
    Hypothesis: Speech perception outcomes for cochlear implantation of children vary over a wide range, and it is hypothesized that central pathologic states associated with certain causes of hearing impairment account for a substantial part of the variance. Study Design: A retrospective analysis was carried out to ascertain the relationships between speech perception, etiologic factors, and central pathologic states as indicated by preoperative delayed motor milestones and/or cognitive delays. Setting: Data were obtained from the pre-and postoperative records of patients attending a hospital cochlear implant clinic. Patients: Results for 75 consecutive patients up to age 5 years who underwent implantation were included in the study. Intervention: Patients received a 22-electrode cochlear prosthesis and were seen by the clinic for regular tune-up and assessments. Home-and school-based habilitation was recommended by the clinic. Main Outcome Measures: Speech perception measures were classified on a five-point scale to allow for different evaluation procedures at different ages and developmental stages. Results: The incidence of motor and cognitive delays were fairly evenly spread across etiologic factors, except for cytomegalovirus, which had a much higher than average incidence. Children with motor and/or cognitive delays were significantly slower than other children in the development of speech perception skills after implantation. Etiologic factors did not have a statistically significant effect on speech perception outcome. Conclusions: It is likely that central pathologic states account for a substantial part of the variance among children using cochlear implants. Specific indicators of central pathologic states should be used to assess a child's prognosis in preference to less specific information based on etiologic factors alone.
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    Speech perception outcomes for older patients using the nucleus cochlear implant [Abstract]
    Tari, S. ; Weatherby, L. ; Winton, L. ; Hollow, R. ; Krauze, K. ; Winfield, E. ; Dowell, R. C. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2002)
    With improved medical technology and increased life expectancy, more patients are receiving cochlear implants at a later age. It is important to examine speech perception outcomes for older patients, in order to be able to provide appropriate pre-operative counselling regarding post-operative expectations. Speech perception scores for patients at the Melbourne Cochlear Implant Clinic implanted at age 65 or more were examined, and compared to the adult population implanted under the age of 65. (All of these patients were users of SPEAK or later strategies.) The aims were to see if speech perception scores were significantly different between the two groups as a whole, and to see if a correlation existed between increasing age of implantation above 65 and speech perception scores. Preliminary results suggest that there is a small but significant effect of age on speech perception outcomes. The findings from this study will be used to help clinicians provide more accurate advice and counselling for older patients, regarding the potential outcomes from a cochlear implant.
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    Validation of a technique for establishing maximum comfortable levels for children using cochlear implants [Abstract]
    Hollow, R. ; Winton, L ; Hill, K. ; Dowell, R. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2002)
    The aim of fitting a cochlear implant is to establish electrical stimulation parameters that will provide the wearer with comfortable and useful auditory sensations. One parameter that is fundamental to achieving this aim is the Maximum Comfortable Level (C-level). A C-level is the amount of electrical current that produces a loud, but comfortable sound. C-levels need to be established for all channels that a person will use in their speech processor Map. Determining C-levels can be complicated as the person is required to make a judgment about the loudness of a sound. While most adults and older children have the ability to make such a judgment and provide feedback to the clinician, this is rarely the case for young children. Generally, the only way a clinician will be aware a sound could be too loud for a young child is when they observe the child giving an aversive reaction or an involuntary blink. A current level that produces such a reaction is called the Loudness Discomfort Level (LOL). This study examines the relationship between LDLs and C-levels. Testing was performed with a group of adults, using stimulation rates and stimulation modes that are commonly used by children. The LDL/C-level relationship established in this study provides a procedure for selling C-Levels for young children when only loudness discomfort responses can be obtained.
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    Factors affecting speech perception outcomes for older children using multichannel cochlear implants
    Dowell, Richard C. ; Dettman, Shani J. ; Hill, Katie ; Winton, Elizabeth ; Hollow, Rod ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2002)
    Experience with cochlear implantation in early-deafened teenagers or young adults has been somewhat disappointing, however, in recent years a proportion of older children have demonstrated excellent speech perception performance. There appears to be a wide gap between the good and poor performers within this group. It is important to investigate the possible factors influencing performance so that adolescents and their families are able to make informed decisions regarding cochlear implant surgery. This study considered a number of factors in a group of 25 children implanted in Melbourne between the ages of 8 and 18 years. Each subject completed open set speech perception testing using BKB sentences before and after implantation and pre-operative language testing using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Data were collected regarding the type of hearing loss, age at implant, age at hearing aid fitting, audiometric details, and the pre-and postoperative communication mode. Multivariate analysis suggested that three factors have a significant predictive value for post-implant speech perception: pre-operative open-set sentence score, duration of profound hearing loss and equivalent language age. These three factors accounted for 66% of the variance in this group. The results of this study suggest that children who have useful pre-implant speech perception, and higher age-equivalent scores on language measures, would be expected to do well with a cochlear implant. A shorter duration of profound hearing loss is also advantageous. Mean speech perception scores for the older group were not significantly different from younger children.