Objectives: Hearing loss (HL) represents a broad category of normal age-related changes that lead to several diminished domains of functions including sensory, cognition, emotional, social, and overall quality of life which may increase loss of independence. Despite the enormous success of cochlear implantation (CI) to treat profound HL in older adults, the individual differences in outcome measures due to several functional deteriorations raise an important question: “How can the success post-CI be measured or defined in older adults?” In 2012, the International classification of functioning (ICF) brief core set of hearing loss was designed to provide clinicians an international standard of what to assess and report on persons with HL. The main objective of this pilot study is to demonstrate success post-CI in older adults using the ICF concepts and brief core set of HL and to discuss what is needed in order to meet the functional decline in older adult CI users.
Design: Case studies of nine older adult CI users were analyzed using single-subject analysis.
Results: Twenty of 27 ICF brief core set items were linked to from the study materials. The ICF analysis clearly demonstrated the individual differences in outcome measures. One case of nine met the criteria of the ICF.
Conclusions: The ICF is a valuable instrumental tool that can be used in CI clinics to optimize audiologic rehabilitation services provided to the aging population. Undoubtedly, there is a need to re-define success post CI in the elderly according to the ICF concept.