Lost to follow up: Exploring patients who initially fail cochlear implant evaluation

Natalie Schauwecker, Anthony M Tolisano, Jacob B Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To explore variables predicting which individuals return for repeat cochlear implantation (CI) evaluation after initially not qualifying. Study design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: University CI program. Patients: Adults undergoing CI evaluation between 2007-2017 who did not meet implantation criteria. Main outcome measures: Demographics, pure tone audiogram (PTA), speech perception testing, and evaluation hearing aids for patients who did and did not pursue subsequent evaluations after failing to qualify. Results: In total, 135 patients failed to qualify for CI, with 37 returning for additional evaluations. 72.9% of returning patients qualified. Repeat evaluations performed >6 months after initial evaluation were no more likely to result in qualification (P = 0.647). PTA and speech perception testing were no different for patients who did and did not return. With multivariate analysis, quantifying hearing impairment by speech perception scores, no variable predicted return. However, quantifying hearing impairment with WRS, evaluation with personal devices (P = 0.012) and recommendations to return within 6 months (P = 0.001) predicted increased rate of return. Conclusions: The majority who initially do not, will qualify with repeat CI testing. Patients given scheduled time for re-evaluation, and those properly fitted with personal devices return at higher rates. We recommend patients initially not qualifing for CI, return for repeat evaluation within a year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalCochlear implants international
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Cochlear Implantation
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Hearing Aids
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech Perception
  • Treatment Outcome


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