DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.419 ISSN:

209 Cochlear Implant Referral Time in Deaf Children: Are They Different Due to Parental Deafness?

J Shukla, O Adegboye, T Oremulé
  • Surgery



95% of deaf children are born to hearing parents (DCHP) and 5% are born to Deaf parents (DCDP). Traditionally, Deaf parents have opposed cochlear implants (CIs) in deaf children as they believe CIs medicalise deafness. Delayed referral and implantation owing to parental hesitation may affect linguistic and educational outcomes. There is a lack of literature regarding the factors that may affect care provision for DCDP. Consequently, this study aimed to investigate whether DCDP were referred for cochlear implantation and underwent surgery at an older age compared to DCHP.


This was a retrospective study carried out at a tertiary referral centre. 22 DCDP who underwent cochlear implantation between 1999 to 2021 were identified and matched to 22 DCHP. An unpaired t-test compared the differences between the age at referral and age at implantation between the 2 groups. A Pearson’s correlation determined the relationship between months till referral and months between referral and implant. SPSS v28.0 was used for statistical analysis.


DCDP had an older mean age at referral (22.5 months) than DCHP (17.5 months, p = 0.552) and had an older mean age at implantation (33.4 months) than DCHP (31.0 months, p = 0.767) albeit this was statistically insignificant. DCDP had a significant negative correlation with the months till referral and the months between referral and implantation (r = -0.514, p = 0.017).


Future research should aim to use a larger patient sample and consider the effect of delayed referral and surgery on clinical outcomes between DCDP and DCHP.

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