Quality of Life and Cost-Effectiveness of Cochlear Implants: A Narrative Review.
OBJECTIVES: To review evidence regarding the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and cost-effectiveness of unilateral and bilateral cochlear implantation (CI) among children and adults with severe-to-profound hearing loss. STUDY DESIGN: Narrative review. METHODS: Publications related to quality of life (QoL) and costs of care in CI were acquired through searches in English-language databases. Studies were included if they had identified the HRQoL attainment, cost of care, cost-utility, or cost-effectiveness associated with CI. RESULTS: 57 studies were critically reviewed. The QoL outcome metrics used in these articles were divided into 2 categories - generic and condition specific. In studies investigating children, many reported no significant difference in QoL attainment between CI recipients and normal-hearing peers. In adults, significant improvements in QoL after implantation and higher QoL than in their nonimplanted (hearing-aided) peers were frequently reported. Studies involving an older adult cohort reported significant improvement in QoL after implantation, which was often independent of audiological performance. Overall, the calculated cost-utility ratios consistently met the threshold of cost acceptance, indicating acceptable values for expenditures on CI. CONCLUSIONS: Considerable work has been done on the QoL attainment and health economic implications of CI. Unilateral CI across all age groups leads to reported sustained benefits in the recipients' overall and disease-specific QoL. With increased cost associated with bilateral CI, further study is needed to characterize its costs and benefits with respect to the recipients' health, well-being, and contributions to society.
Crowson, MG; Semenov, YR; Tucci, DL; Niparko, JK
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