Societal Costs of Hearing Loss
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Societal Costs of Severe-Profound Hearing Loss

American Cochlear Implant Alliance partnered with the American Hearing Research Foundation (AHRF) to offer a one-year planning project on the societal costs of deafness. It was intended that the grant recipient explore and recommend a detailed plan for updating the seminal Project HOPE study published in 2000 by Mohr. This work has been an important component of public policy discussion on pediatric deafness for nearly two decades.  The review of applicant submissions by the AHRF research review committee awarded the grant in December 2018 to Nicklaus Children’s Research Institute. A report on the research effort will be made at the upcoming CI2019 Pediatric Symposium in July.

Project Title:

Reductions in Societal Costs and Burden for those with Severe to Profound Hearing Loss:  Impact of Pediatric Cochlear Implantation


Alexandra Quittner PhD, Thomas Taylor PhD, Bruce Vogel PhD


Hearing loss is the most common sensory deprivation in developed countries, with severe to profound hearing loss affecting 1 out of 1000 children born in the US (Smith et al., 2005). If deafness is present before a child acquires speech and language (typically age 3), the lifetime costs exceed 1 million dollars per child, affecting approximately 60,000 children (Blanchfield et al., 2001; Mohr et al., 2000). Studies on the cost-effectiveness of cochlear implants (CIs) have been published (Mohr et al., 2000; Cheng et al., 2000; Francis et al., 2002), however a majority are more than 15 years old and do not reflect advances in newborn screening and widespread adoption of CIs for very young children.

Thus, this planning grant aims to replicate the Mohr (2000) study on the lifetime costs and burden of severe to profound hearing loss and extend the Semenov analyses (2013) of children in the CDaCI (Childhood Development after Cochlear Implantation) study to estimate the cost utility of CIs out to 13-15 years post-implantation. Our dataset provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the benefits of CIs from infancy to young adulthood in a nationally representative sample.  

The mission of the American Cochlear Implant (ACI) Alliance is to advance access to the gift of hearing provided by cochlear implantation through research, advocacy and awareness.