Bilateral Versus Unilateral Cochlear Implants in Children: A Study of Spoken Language Outcomes

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A five-year study carried out by researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia, has found that children who are fitted with bilateral Cochlear Implants (CIs) at an early age achieve significantly better vocabulary outcomes and significantly higher scores on key vocabulary tests than do comparable children with unilateral CIs.

The study, published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Association, was conducted across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and New Zealand, and involved cochlear implant clinics and early intervention centres with more than 160 children.

The effects of some parenting practices (family reading habits and child screen time) that had not previously been investigated in any studies of language outcomes in children with CIs and their relationships to language outcomes were also examined.

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