A prospective study of the cost-utility of the multichannel cochlear implant

Cynthia S. Palmer, John K. Niparko, J. Robert Wyatt, Margaret Rothman, Gregory De Lissovoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Context: Prior clinical studies have indicated that cochlear implantation provides benefits to individuals with advanced sensorineural hearing loss who are unable to gain effective speech recognition with hearing aids. Objective: To determine the cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) for adults receiving multichannel cochlear implants. Design: Prospective 12- month multicenter study using preference-based quality-of-life measures and total cost determinations, comparing profoundly hearing-impaired adult subjects with and without cochlear implants. Setting: Hospital-based and patient-resource clinics. Patients: Severely to profoundly hearing-impaired adult recipients of a cochlear implant and adults eligible for the device who had not yet received it. Main Outcome Measure: Clinical assessment of implant participants included medical and audiologic (speech understanding) data at the time of enrollment, 6 months, find 12 months. All participants' health- utility was assessed at the time of enrollment, 6 months, and 12 months using the Health Utility Index. One-year medical resource utilization and cost data included bills-related to implants, patient diaries, charge estimates from clinical sites, and published literature. A decision model was developed to determine cost per QALY. Results: Of the 84 enrolled adults 62 (75%) completed the study. Mean health-utility scores at the time of enrollment were identical between groups. The marginal 12-month health-utility gain for implant recipients was 0.20; 90% of this improvement was achieved within 6 months. For patients with a mean 22-year life expectancy, the marginal cost per QALY was $ 14 670. Conclusions: Overall, multichannel cochlear implants significantly improved recipients' performance on measures of speech understanding and ratings of health-utility within 6 months of implantation. The multichannel cochlear implant yielded a very favorable cost per QALY.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1228
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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