The progress made over the last decade in cochlear implants, surgical techniques, and speech processing strategies has been phenomenal. There has been vast improvement in functional outcomes when comparing early single channel devices, which provided basic speech awareness and improved speechreading ability, to current digitally-based technology, where open-set speech recognition no longer amazes the clinician. With improved technology and outcomes, some assume the adult cochlear implant user no longer requires audiologic rehabilitation.
Is it appropriate to omit audiologic rehabilitation because the patient is ''doing pretty good'' without training? Is ''good enough'' adequate, when additional rehabilitative procedures could insure that the patient is performing at his or her optimal level?
We believe effective treatment must consider the effect of the hearing impairment upon the individual and the people with whom he/she interacts. The following assumptions are the basis of our audiologic rehabilitation program:
The sudden change in hearing ability, which results from implantation affects the patient, his/her family, friends, and co-workers. The rehabilitation process is quickened and the opportunities for success are improved if these individuals are involved. Information enhances the patient's and the communication partners' understanding of the benefits and limits of implantation and the recognized factors in listening environments that can have predictable effects on performance.