Differences in music appreciation between bilateral and single-sided cochlear implant recipients

Alex W. Yang, Elicia M. Pillion, Charles A. Riley, Anthony M. Tolisano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare changes in music appreciation after cochlear implant (CI) surgery for patients with bilateral and single-sided deafness (SSD). Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed on all adult CI unilateral or bilateral recipients from November 2019 to March 2023. Musical questionnaire subset data from the Cochlear Implant Quality of Life (CIQOL) – 35 Profile Instrument Score (maximum raw score of 15) was collected. Functional CI assessment was measured with CI-alone speech-in-quiet (SIQ) scores (AzBio and CNC). Results: 22 adults underwent CI surgery for SSD and 21 adults for bilateral deafness (8 sequentially implanted). Every patient group had clinically significant improvements (p < 0.001) in mean SIQ scores in the most recently implanted ear (Azbio (% correct) SSD: 14.23 to 68.48, bilateral: 24.54 to 82.23, sequential: 6.25 to 82.57). SSD adults on average had higher music QOL scores at baseline (SSD: 11.05; bilateral: 7.86, p < 0.001). No group had significant increases in raw score at the first post-operative visit (SSD: 11.45, p = 0.86; bilateral: 8.15, p = 0.15). By the most recent post-implantation evaluation (median 12.8 months for SSD, 12.3 months for bilateral), SSD adults had a significant increase in raw score from baseline (11.05 to 12.45, p = 0.03), whereas bilaterally deafened (7.86 to 9.38, p = 0.12) adults had nonsignificant increases. Conclusions: SSD patients demonstrate higher baseline music appreciation than bilaterally deafened individuals regardless of unilateral or bilateral implantation and are more likely to demonstrate continued improvement in subjective music appreciation at last follow-up even when speech perception outcomes are similar.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104331
JournalAmerican journal of otolaryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Cochlear implants
  • Music appreciation
  • Quality of life


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