Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - HEARINGTREAT (Remediation of Hearing Loss)

The main project objective was to transfer the knowledge to the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing and to improve the skills of the Institute's researchers to develop advanced, multidisciplinary studies on Partial Deafness Cochlear Implantation (PDCI) including hearing preservation after cochlear implantation and combined stimulation with implant and hearing aid (termed Electric-Acoustic Stimulation or EAS).

The knowledge transfer objectives were as follows:
1. Determination of the optimum fitting parameters for EAS: 1a Speech perception improvement, 1b Music perception testing, 1c Hardware optimisation;
2 A complete understanding of ways to determine the patients' pathologies and disabilities both before and after implantation and factors determining benefit: 2a adaptation of pupillometry methodology; 2b Adaptation of the LittlEARS questionnaire; 2c Adaptation of language related tests.
3 Understanding of ethical principles and methodology surrounding research with humans and human tissue at European level.
4 Application of the acquired knowledge to conduct a series of patient tests at the host institution.

1)The software for computer simulation and psychoacoustic test methodology developed by a recruited fellow Prof. Blake S. Wilson at Research Triangle Institute, USA was adapted for the purpose of hearing perception evaluation under conditions of EAS. This methodology was used for optimization of stimulation parameters to enhance speech discrimination in PDCI. Table of optimal sets of parameters enhancing speech discrimination was defined. The customized music test (PDCI Music Test) designed for PDCI patients was developed. The table of optimal sets of parameters enhancing music perception was defined. The combined speech processor/hearing aid device developed and designed for PDCI by a European cochlear implant company was evaluated. For this reason PDCI subjects were upgraded to the DUET Hearing System from Med-El Corporation, Innsbruck, Austria. The fitting procedure of the new device was proposed and published. The guidelines were published as a Position Paper on strategies for the optimum combination of EAS.

2) The unique methodology approach based on pupillometry measurements developed by Dr Kramer (recruited fellow) was adapted. The recommendations for the selection criteria for PDCI were defined. LittlEARS Auditory Questionnaire (LEAQ) was adapted to the Polish language. The translation was done and empirical evaluation of translated version was conducted. Recommendations on the LittlEARS usage in patients' selection for PDCI were proposed Tests for speech reception (AAST, nonverbal Phoneme Identification, Phonological awareness, OPT), speech production (SPINE) were adapted into Polish language. All tests were evaluated empirically for their usefulness in the diagnostic process of PDCI candidates. The guidelines for application of the achieved results in the patients' recruitment process for PDCI were prepared. The Position Paper on selection criteria was published.

3) The third objective was achieved through structured knowledge exchange with all visiting researchers.

4) Fourth objective was approached through 3 subtasks as follows:
a. Patient recruitment using methods adopted in objective 2.
b. Application of combined electric and acoustic stimulation based on the results of objective 1 in a group of 10 patients.
c. Evaluation of the results and exploitation of the data. Evaluation of the results and exploitation of the empirical experiments' data revealed that hearing was substantially preserved after PDCI, thus providing potentially optimal performance with the cochlear implant, and allowing combination with residual hearing using electric acoustic stimulation (EAS).

The recommendations for conducting PDCI were proposed and addressed to cochlear implant centres, clinics and training program providers. A Position Paper was prepared on PDCI application.

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