[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/454318]
Dr Karyn Galvin
Brief description The cochlear implant (bionic ear) has revolutionised communication for children with profound hearing loss. Nevertheless, children with the standard single implant still face huge challenges in educational and social settings. Difficulties include understanding speech that is soft, or speech in noisy environments, such as the classroom. Also, with one implant, children cannot locate the source of sound, such as the speaker in a group conversation, team-mates during sport, or an oncoming car. Research with other normal hearing and hearing impaired groups suggests that two (bilateral) implants may possibly improve performance in these conditions. Although hundreds of children worldwide have received bilateral implants, very limited evidence is available to indicate whether two implants are significantly better than one, especially for young children. The main aim of the research is to evaluate the improvement in listening performance when young children and infants use two implants as compared with one. An additional aim is to gain clinical knowledge of bilateral implant use in order to develop selection criteria and management protocols for young bilateral candidates in the future. Results of this research will determine if bilateral implants should become a standard option for young children at the RVEEH-University of Melbourne Implant Clinic. The results will be published and presented internationally to influence clinical practice worldwide. All children using a cochlear implant, or in need of one in the future, will benefit as the study outcomes will indicate the best choice of hearing devices for individual children, and help to determine best-practice management if bilateral implants become an option for all children.
Funding Amount $AUD 452,843.56
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
New Investigator Grant