Auditory Implant Service

Exploring the experiences of adolescents with cochlear implants

Vicky Watson

The number of teenagers using cochlear implants has grown rapidly over recent years. However, very little is known about the outcomes of this intervention for this age group beyond those associated with speech and hearing. Adolescence is a time of change, where one’s identity evolves and independence is established. It is important to understand how adolescents view their cochlear implant at a time when they are facing these challenges so that they can be adequately supported by clinicians, their parents and those educating them. There is currently limited support for this patient population, and their needs are likely to be very different from adults or children. The aim of this research is to gain a deeper and more representative understanding of what it is like to be a teenager (aged 13-19 years) who uses a cochlear implant, in order to help inform professionals who look after them. In order to do this I am interviewing young people who are seen at USAIS and at a nearby school for deaf children.