Objectives: This study aims to observe the effects of social and demographic factors on the language development of prelingual pediatric cochlear implant patients.
Patients and methods: Between April 2006 and April 2010, 44 children (26 boys, 18 girls; mean age 81.1±16.9 months; range 54 to 115 months) who were prelingually implanted and who had an implant experience of at least 36 months were retrospectively analyzed. Only the patients without mental-motor retardation, cochlear anomaly and revision surgery and who continued their education without any interruption were selected. Receptive and expressive vocabulary tests were performed on these patients. Social and demographic features including gender, implant age, parents' education status and annual income were recorded. The relationship between language development and socio-demographic factors were investigated.
Results: Patients implanted before the age of 36 months showed better levels of receptive and expressive language. Children with higher maternal education levels showed significantly better expressive and receptive equivalent language ages. Annual income of the families had significant positive impacts on the language development of the children who were implanted before the age of 36 months.
Conclusion: Both expressive and receptive language skills over 36 months of implant experience are significantly associated with age at the time of the implant and socio-economic status of the parents.