Holly Teagle, Clinical Director at the Hearing House and Associate Professor of Audiology at the University of Auckland recently did a presentation at the Auckland Cochlear Implant Consumer Group on Advocacy and Research for adult cochlear implantation.
One of the topics Holly discussed was the vaccination rate amongst adult cochlear implant recipients. The risk of bacterial meningitis increases in cochlear implant recipients, and as such, CI recipients in New Zealand are eligible for fully funded meningitis immunisations.
Michel Neeff, cochlear implant surgeon for the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme, and ENT doctors, Scott Mitchell and Lesina Nakhid-Schuster recently conducted research on, “Adult cochlear implant recipients and meningitis in New Zealand: are patients receiving the recommended immunisations?” which was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.
The paper highlighted a low rate of immunisations among adults with cochlear implants and recommended a proactive approach to increasing awareness about vaccinations for cochlear implant recipients amongst health professionals, clients and their families.
To read the full paper with its recommendations you can read it below.
The Meningitis Foundation also has loads of useful information and patient stories that you can read on their website below.
Cochlear implant recipients are eligible for a number of fully-funded vaccinations, and below is the full list of funded vaccines for special groups in NZ.
MASTERS THESIS INTO CANDIDACY AND BENEFITS OF ELECTROACOUSTIC DEVICES IN NEW ZEALAND
An interesting area of research conducted by Nicole Zhoa as part of her Master's of Audiology Thesis at the University of Auckland was on Electroacoustic (EAS) Hearing: An exploratory study into the candidacy and benefits of electroacoustic devices in New Zealand.
Electroacoustic hearing devices include cochlear implants, and Holly noted that Nicole's research highlighted these key findings:
• Limitations in the knowledge of EAS candidacy has been demonstrated in New Zealand audiologists
• While audiologists are aware of what EAS is, they may not refer candidates until the residual hearing is too poor to take advantage of the technology. This is likely a reflection of restricted funding and stringent criteria for CI consideration in adults, resulting in limited exposure and awareness of EAS
• For this recipient, the use of EAS compared to the electric-only program yielded improvements in speech perception outcomes in noise
• Greater awareness of CI candidacy to include the population who could benefit from EAS could result in more referrals and potentially better client outcomes with hearing technologies in general.
For an overview of Holly's presentation and summary of research initiatives, you can view her presentation below.
Holly also spoke about the Delphi Consensus statements which she co-authored alongside 31 international hearing experts from 13 countries. For a recap of the recommendations from the paper, head over to our news section here:
For a comprehensive overview and extensive resources on the consensus statements on cochlear implantation for adults, please visit adult hearing: