Background: In many cochlear implant users, even after some time following cochlear implantation and adequate central auditory stimulation, certain hearing processing capabilities remain unresolved. These difficulties for cochlear implant users have a very similar manifestation to the decoding sub-category of the buffalo model of auditory processing which has a direct role in accurate phoneme processing. The present study was designed to investigate phoneme processing abilities in cochlear implant users and to evaluate the efficacy of phonemic rehabilitations in this population.
Methods: This was an interventional study with single subject design. Six prelingually deaf children aged between 8 and 11 years were recruited in the study. The performance of the cochlear implant users during three phases of baseline, intervention and follow-up was investigated. Phonemic Training and Phonemic Synthesis programs were administered and the outcomes were compared based on performance of the children in phoneme recognition test, phonemic synthesis test and the phoneme error analysis form.
Results: All findings demonstrated that test scores improved in all six cases after intervention in comparison to the baseline (p< .00).
Conclusions: This study suggests that phoneme-based rehabilitation strategies improve the performance of deaf children with cochlear implants and should be used in postoperative therapy batteries.