Adult cochlear implants

Cochlear implants are recommended as a possible option in patients with severe to profound hearing loss who do not benefit from conventional hearing aids. Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices and significantly improve sound perception. Audiovestibular physicians play a key role in the multidisciplinary team involved in the medical assessment and management of patients.

Service delivery:  This service reviews the medical aspects of hearing loss, aims at holistic assessment and is delivered by staff with a medical background (eg audiovestibular physician, ENT specialist). Cochlear implant clinics are a tertiary service and to ensure high-quality person-centred care, these services are best delivered as a one-stop clinic followed by follow-up appointments as required. Referrals should be made through secondary/tertiary level of services and clear guidelines and criteria for referral are a necessity.

Workforce: Cochlear implant services consist of a multiprofessional team including audiovestibular physicians, ENT specialists, audiologists, hearing therapists or audiologists with hearing rehabilitation skills, clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists and psychiatrist. Audiovestibular physicians provide the medical aspects of the assessment, diagnosis and management of patients. New patients usually require 45 minutes and 20–30 minutes for a follow-up.

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