Speech intelligibility of Mandarin-speaking deaf children with cochlear implants

Chii Yuan Huang, Hui Mei Yang, Yung Ji Sher, Yi Hui Lin, Jiunn Liang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Speech intelligibility, the extent to which the speakers can be understood verbally by their listeners, is an evaluator for the effectiveness of cochlear implantation. Thus, our goals were to evaluate the result of a tonal language through comparing the speech intelligibility between normal-hearing and implanted children who speak Mandarin, and to evaluate the relationship between speech intelligibility and duration of implants use. The effects of the age at implantation were also evaluated. Methods: Twenty-six children (mean age of 5.9 years), who were congenitally deaf and implanted age at 3.5 years, were compared with 26 normal-hearing children (mean age of 5.84 years). The average post-implanted time was more than 6 months. Speech intelligibility was represented with the speech intelligibility ratings (SIR) and the correct percentage of dictation. The relationships between speech intelligibility, age at implantation and duration of implant were evaluated by linear regression analysis. Results: Speech intelligibility of most subjects ranked from SIR category 3-5. The average correct perception rate (CI group/normal group) of words, consonants, vowels, and tones were 42.5%, 64.9%, 73.5%, and 72.3%, respectively. These differences were statistically significant (p < 0.001). Speech intelligibility was positively correlated with age only in the normal-hearing group. Speech intelligibility in the implanted group was negatively correlated with age at implantation but positively correlated with the duration of implant. Conclusions: Speech intelligibility of tonal language was poorer in implanted children than normal-hearing children, but their communication outcomes were satisfactory when measured with SIR. Speech intelligibility is better if the age at implantation is younger or duration of implants use is longer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-511
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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