Psychological implications of cochlear implantation
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Sažetak Cochlear implantation is an invasive method used to treat profound deafness in adults and children. Although many different cochlear implant devices are currently in use, none can provide normal hearing. Several factors, including age of onset of deafness, age at implant surgery, duration of deafness, status of remaining auditory nerve fibers, (re)habilitation and type of implant, affect the benefit a patient receives from an implant. The limited prediction of implant efficacy remains a pressing problem. Large individual differences in spoken word recognition skills and language development continue to be observed in children with cochlear implants. Although psychological evaluation has been a part of the preimplant evaluation process, comparatively little research has been conducted on the long-term psychological and social effects of implantation in children. Some psychological risks associated with self-esteem, body image, identity development, educational environment and failure are discussed. The article describes the preoperative psychological counselling and assessment process, and psychological evaluation methods. The importance of realistic expectations, and informed consent is emphasized. Opinions of the Deaf community and ethical dilemmas related to cochlear implant surgery in children are discussed.