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Supplementary Material for: Systematic Review of Quality of Life Assessments after Cochlear Implantation in Older Adults

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posted on 10.07.2020 by Andries E., Gilles A., Topsakal V., Vanderveken O.M., VandeHeyning P., VanRompaey V., Mertens G.
Cochlear implants (CI) have increasingly been adopted in older adults with severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss as a result of the growing and aging world population. Consequently, researchers have recently shown great interest in the cost-effectiveness of cochlear implantation and its effect on quality of life (QoL) in older CI users. Therefore, a systematic review and critical evaluation of the available literature on QoL in older adult CI users was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Studies were selected by searching MEDLINE (PubMed) and the Cochrane Library and by checking the reference lists of relevant articles. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) the study sample were adults aged 50 years and older with postlingual onset of bilateral severe to profound hearing loss, (2) all subjects received a multi-electrode CI, and (3) QoL was assessed before and after implantation. Out of 1,093 records, 18 articles were accepted for review. Several studies demonstrated significant positive effects of cochlear implantation on QoL in older adults, but high-level evidence-based medicine is lacking. An improvement of QoL was generally reported when using disease-specific instruments, which are designed to detect treatment-specific changes, whereas the outcomes of generic QoL questionnaires, assessing general health states, were rather ambiguous. However, only generic questionnaires would be able to provide calculations of the cost-effectiveness of CI and comparisons across patient populations, diseases, or interventions. Hence, generic and disease-specific QoL instruments are complementary rather than contradictory. In general, older CI users’ QoL was assessed using a variety of methods and instruments, which complicated comparisons between studies. There is a need for a standardized, multidimensional, and comprehensive QoL study protocol including all relevant generic and disease-specific instruments to measure and compare QoL, utility, and/or daily life performance in CI users.

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