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Objective: Evaluation of the parental perspective regarding cochlear implants and the child's progress after a minimum of 1 year after cochlear implantation.

Study Design: A closed-set questionnaire was used to assess the parental point of view. The questionnaire that was mailed to families included the following sections: decision to implant, process of implantation, positive effect of the implant, communication, supporting the child, self-reliance, well-being and happiness, social relationships, education, and pre- and postoperative services provided by the implant center.

Setting: The study was conducted at SSK Ankara Hospital, which is a tertiary care center.

Patients: Parents of 28 children with congenital deafness or who became deaf before the age of 3 years and received cochlear implantation were included in the study. To obtain reliable information, selected patients had a minimum of 1 year experience after implantation. The subjects were the parents of a group of children including 19 boys and 9 girls with ages ranging from 2 to 13 years (mean, 5.07 years; standard deviation, 2.33 years). The period of cochlear implant usage ranged from 12 to 30 months (mean, 19.5 months; standard deviation, 15.95 months).

Main Outcome Measure: Assessment of parental view about cochlear implantation.

Results: Of 28 questionnaires sent, 27 were returned. Making decision for cochlear implantation was one of the most stressful steps for the parents. Although speech and language development was the major concern, parents reported outstanding improvement in communication skills, social relationships, and self-confidence for their child. All the families were anxious about a possible device failure, and maintenance of the cochlear implant equipment was another major concern.

Conclusions: During pre- and postimplantation processes, parents provide an important link between the child and professional staff and have a vital role in the child's life and rehabilitation. The parental perspective presented in this study can be useful to the implant centers to revise their practice accordingly and improve the information given to candidate families.

(C) 2003 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.