Living with cochlear implants: experiences of 17 adult patients in Sweden
Source: International Journal of Audiology, Volume 43, Number 2, February 2004 , pp. 115-121(7)
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Abstract:The aim of this grounded theory study was to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to profoundly deaf adults to undergo cochlear implantation and their experience of living with it daily. The aim of grounded theory is theorizing, i.e. constructing from data an explanatory scheme that systematically integrates various concepts and their relationships. The study group consisted of 10 women and seven men (age 29-78 years; mean age 56.5 years), who had had their cochlear implant (CI) for between 1 and 12 years (mean 4.1 years). Open taped interviews were carried out and analysed. The core category, coming back to life , defines a psychological process basic to existence, elucidating the existential value of hearing, including perceived harmony in life and becoming a part of the living world as important dimensions. This core concept is related to four additional emerging categories in a temporal order. Preventing disappointment concerns the decision to undergo the operation governed by the conception of having nothing to lose combined with low expectations of successful outcomes. Waiting in silence relates to experiences during the postoperative period such as sensations from the head and uncertainty about the outcome of surgery. The ‘switch-on' was experienced as a significant revelation and the emotionally loaded starting point for their coming back to life. Retraining the brain concerns the lengthy audiovisual learning process, finally resulting in ‘a car sounding like a car'. Strengthening of self-worth concerns psychosocial outcomes of cochlear implantation, in terms of less dependency and increased social participation. CIs provide a substantial improvement in the quality of life, as identi- fied in the emerging generic process of coming back to life, fundamental for psychological existence.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 2004