A recent consensus meeting was held by the British Cochlear Implant Group Candidacy Working Party because its members thought this was the most pressing issues faced by the sector. That meeting of over 40 experts in the sector concluded that the current guidelines are too restrictive and that performance of cochlear implant recipients is much higher than it was in 2004 when the current candidacy rules were derived. The group agreed that the current guidelines should be changed and have developed a set of recommendations (https://www.cicandidacy.co.uk/ ).
Key recommendations are that;
- Expanding candidacy to include some groups of adults and children with less profound forms of hearing loss would be appropriate because the benefits would outweigh the risks.
- The current assessment used to determine whether someone receives sufficient benefit from their hearing aids (the BKB sentence test) does not adequately assess the difficulties with listening that adults and children experience in everyday life.
- The process to determine whether someone receives sufficient benefit from their hearing aids should be revised to better assess real-world listening difficulties.
- Assessment procedures should be chosen based on evidence that they are reliable and valid for determining candidacy for cochlear implantation. Different procedures may therefore need to be adopted for different sub-groups of patients who are potential candidates.