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Patient Groups Provide Input for Cochlear Implant QOL Tool

Adult patient focus groups used to develop initial item bank for cochlear implant quality-of-life instrument


THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Adult patient focus groups have been used to develop an initial item bank for a cochlear implant (CI)-specific quality-of-life (QOL) instrument, according to a study published online Aug. 3 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Theodore R. McRackan, M.D., from the Medical University of South Caroline in Charleston, and colleagues developed a CI-specific QOL instrument for adults in accordance with the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System guidelines. Patient focus groups participated in creation of the initial item bank. Twenty-three adult CI users were divided into three focus groups stratified by ability in word recognition; the three focus groups were led by moderators and conducted based on grounded theory.

The researchers found that data saturation was reached before the end of each of the focus groups. Communication, emotion, environmental sounds, independence and work function, listening effort, social isolation and ability to socialize, and sound clarity were the central themes identified after analysis of the transcripts. Twenty adult CI users who did not participate in the focus groups underwent cognitive interviews to ensure item clarity. The initial QOL item bank and prototype were developed based on these results.

"Compared with previously used methods, the use of patient-centered item development for a CI-specific QOL instrument will more accurately reflect patient experience and increase our understanding of how CI use affects QOL," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries; one author has a patent pending for the final quality-of-life instrument.

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