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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 44-49

Parent's perception and expectations from cochlear implants: Insights from a government-funded cochlear implants program in Kerala

Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, National Institute of Speech and Hearing, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Sita Sreekumar
Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, National Institute of Speech and Hearing, NISH Road, Sreekaryam, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 017, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisha.JISHA_13_21

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Introduction: Parental perceptions and expectations are the key determinants for optimal outcomes from cochlear implants (CI). This article explores the parental perceptions and expectations of very young children who are prospective candidates for CI. Methods: The participants of this study were 97 parents (63 mothers; 34 fathers). They completed a 40-item questionnaire which reflected the parents expected outcomes on the domains communication and social skills, academic achievements, future life, rehabilitation demands, satisfaction, stress, and professional relations. The questionnaire was administered during a group counseling session conducted for prospective CI users under the government-funded CI program in Kerala, India. The responses were descriptively analyzed to present the results. Results: The results reveal that parents kept high expectations on communication abilities, intelligible speech, language abilities, telephone conversation, mainstream schooling, reading-writing abilities, and secure future life after their children receive cochlear implantation. Ninety-six percent of parents strongly agreed on parental involvement, intense, and prolonged therapy for maximal benefit. About 52.3% of parents were dissatisfied with the present communication and social skills of their children. About 33.3% of parents felt stressed about the rehabilitation process, whereas 78% viewed rehabilitation as their responsibility. Decision-making on CI was difficult for 48% of parents because of differing opinions among professionals. Conclusion: Understanding parental perceptions and expectations will help the service providers to impart holistic habilitation strategies after cochlear implantation. Further documenting parental perceptions is important to correlate the future experiences and outcomes from CI.

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