Holistic rehabilitation of cochlear implant users: using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
Artur Lorens 1, A-F
Griet Mertens 2,3, B-F
Anja Kurz 4, B-F
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Implants and Auditory Perception Department, Institute of Pathology and Physiology of Hearing, Poland
University Department Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, Antwerp University Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Antwerp University, Belgium
Department of Otolaryngology, University Hospital Würzburg, Comprehensive Hearing Center, Würzburg, Germany
Department of Clinical Research, Med-El Medical Electronics, Innsbruck, Austria
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article;
Submission date: 2022-11-28
Acceptance date: 2023-02-08
Online publication date: 2023-04-28
Publication date: 2023-04-28
Corresponding author
Artur Lorens   

Implants and Auditory Perception Department, Institute of Pathology and Physiology of Hearing, Mokra 17, 05-830, Kajetany, Poland
J Hear Sci 2023;13(1):19-25
The purpose of this article is to propose how the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), particularly the ICF core sets for hearing loss, can be used to plan and evaluate the holistic (re)habilitation of cochlear implant recipients.

Material and methods:
The opinions of HearRing experts were gathered on what – based on their clinical experience – are the most relevant ICF categories and codes to describe audiological rehabilitation after cochlear implantation. For each ICF category, the most commonly used audiological assessment tools and methods were identified.

The most relevant codes for Body functions and structures, Activities and Participation as well as Environmental factors were identified. These were the following. Body structures: structure of the inner ear (s260), auditory nerve (s260), brainstem (s1105), midbrain (s1101), diencephalon (s1102), and cortical lobe (s110). Hearing functions: sound detection (b2300), sound discrimination (b2301), localization of sound source (b2302), lateralization of sound (b2303), and speech discrimination (b2304). Activities and participation: listening (d115); communicating with (receiving) spoken messages (d310); handling stress and other psychological demands (d240); using communication devices and techniques (d360); conversation (d350); family relationships (d760); school education (d820); paid employment (d850); and community life (d910). Environmental factors: sounds (e250), products and technology for communication (e125), immediate family (e310), attitudes of immediate family members (e410), societal attitudes (e460), health professionals (e355), and health services, systems, and policies (e580).

Using the ICF can help target the holistic (re)habilitation of cochlear implant recipients. By providing a common language, it can enable clearer communication across disciplines, and closer comparison between different studies, which is essential for meta-analyses.

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