Familial psychosocial impact of cochlear implatation

Brian P. Quinlan, Robert E. Africa, Brian J. McKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Adult cochlear implantation rates are increasing, and the resulting change in hearing capabilities has vast impacts in the psychosocial domain of life for the cochlear implant users and their families. However, there is currently no published evidence synthesis of the ways in which adult cochlear implantation affects the psychosocial sphere of the family unit. Objective: (1) Describe the existing literature on the psychosocial impact of cochlear implantation on adults. (2) Assess the range of impacts on the family unit and highlight areas warranting further investigation. Data sources: Ovid, CINAHL, and Scopus. Review methods: Databases were systematically searched from January 1, 2007 to May 1, 2022. Eligibility assessment was performed via two independent investigators. Disagreements in selection were discussed and consulted on with a third investigator as needed. Results: Of the 875 unique articles identified, 13 remained in the final review. The most frequently noted psychosocial impacts on the family was quality of life (100 %), family relations (85 %), conversational access (85 %), everyday hearing (77 %), and less feelings of isolation (77 %). 6 of the studies only considered the viewpoint of the CI user and did not have a congruent survey response from an individual from their family unit. Conclusion: This study describes the existing literature on the familial psychosocial impact of adult cochlear implantation, focusing on the general well-being, social integration, and psychological aspects noted post-implantation. This review identifies gaps in this research, with large numbers of studies on CI user benefits and little insight into the impact on the family unit. We recommend shifting research on CI impact toward a focus on the family unit, rather than individual, and an evaluation of familial influence in electing to receive a CI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104137
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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