Timing discrepancies of early intervention hearing services in urban and rural cochlear implant recipients

Matthew L. Bush, Mary Burton, Ashley Loan, Jennifer B. Shinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the timing of early intervention diagnostic and therapeutic services in cochlear implant recipients from rural and urban areas. Study Design: Retrospective case series review. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: Cochlear implant recipients from a single comprehensive hearing institute born with severe congenital sensorineural hearing loss were examined. Timing of diagnostic and therapeutic services was examined. Intervention(s): Diagnosis, amplification, and eventual cochlear implantation for all patients in the study. Main Outcome Measure(s): Time points of definitive diagnosis, amplification, and cochlear implantation for children from urban and rural regions were examined. Correlation analysis of distance to testing center and timing of services was also assessed. Results: Forty children born with congenital hearing loss were included in the study and were diagnosed at a median age of 13 weeks after birth. Children from rural regions obtained amplification at a median age of 47.7 weeks after birth, whereas urban children were amplified at 26 weeks after birth. Cochlear implantation was performed at a median age of 182 weeks after birth in those from rural areas and at 104 weeks after birth in urban-dwelling patients. A linear relationship was identified between distance to the implant center and timing of hearing aid amplification (r = 0.5, p = 0.033) and cochlear implantation (r = 0.5, p = 0.016). Conclusion: Children residing outside of metro areas may be at higher risk of delayed rehabilitative services and cochlear implantation than those residing in urban areas that may be closer to tertiary care centers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1630-1635
Number of pages6
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2013


  • Cochlear implants
  • Congenital hearing loss
  • Rural health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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