The Action Group has responded (23.1.2018) to the proposal from NICE to review the candidacy criteria in Sec 1.5 of the NICE guidelines on Cochlear Implants TA166 . The Action Group has welcomed the proposal to review the candidacy guidelines and made suggestions on what the new guidelines should include. The key suggestions from the Action Group are that the wording should be changed to include the following;
“Cochlear Implants should be considered for children and adults with deafness in the severe to profound range, with hearing function that is severely impaired, and for whom optimally fitted conventional hearing aids do not provide adequate benefit. For adults, adequate benefit from hearing aids is considered to be sufficient access to meet an individual’s communication, social, education and employment needs. For children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability.
For the purposes of this guidance, severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing sounds that are greater than or equal to 80 dBHL (≥80dBHL) at two or more frequencies (at 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 3,000Hz and 4000Hz) bilaterally without acoustic hearing aids.
Adequate benefit from acoustic hearing aids is defined for this guidance as:
- For adults, a phoneme score of 50% or greater on the AB word test
- For children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability.
For all candidates, the multidisciplinary clinical team should consider that cochlear implantation is likely to provide additional benefit beyond that which can be provided through conventional hearing aids.”
This recommendation was supported by extensive evidence collected by the Action Group, analysis of the British Cochlear Implant Groups consensus process and the service review undertaken by Nottingham and UCL Universities.
For the full Action Group Response see;
We look forward to working with NICE further as it reviews the guidelines.