Presentation: Perception of Treatment and Impact for People Receiving Hearing Implants
David Welch and Ashleigh Douglas
Cochlear implants and auditory brainstem implants may benefit people with hearing loss. This research employed followed six people from just before they received implants (three cochlear implants and three brainstem implants) to several months afterwards. We conducted three interviews with each person to gather information about their experiences of hearing loss, their preconceptions about their hearing implants, the process of learning to hear again after getting them, and their outcomes in terms of their lives. The findings supported the positive hearing and quality of life outcomes brought by hearing implants. Of particular importance was the long and recursive nature of rehabilitation: there is a journey to develop the skills to use the devices properly. This demonstrated the need for ongoing willingness to work on one’s hearing and the need for appropriate expectations, determination and support from both personal and professional networks to cope with this.