Objective: To examine the results of health-related quality-of-life questionnaire scores from profoundly deaf children fitted with at least one cochlear implant (CI) and to compare their responses with those of normal-hearing mates of similar age and their parents. Study Design: Cross-sectional study utilizing a generic quality-of-life questionnaire designed to be completed by both parents and children independently of each other. Setting: Questionnaires completed at various summer camps designed for children with CIs in Texas and Colorado. Subjects and Methods: Eighty-eight families from 16 states were divided into two subgroups by age of cochlear implantation: an eight- to 11-year-old group and a 12- to 16-year-old group. The KINDL-R Questionnaire for Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents was distributed, and CI participants completed the questionnaire independently of their participating family member. Results: CI users in both age groups scored similarly to their normal-hearing peers and their parents. Younger CI users scored their family domain lower compared with their normal-hearing peers. Teen CI users scored the school domain lower compared with their parents. Among CI participants, earlier implantation and longer CI use resulted in higher quality-of-life scores. Conclusion: Children with CIs experience quality of life similar to that of normal-hearing peers. Parents are reliable reporters on the status of their child's overall quality of life.
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