Cochlear Implant Programming: A Global Survey on the State of the Art

Bart Vaerenberg, Cas Smits, Geert De Ceulaer, Elie Zir, Sally Harman, N. Jaspers, Y. Tam, Margaret Dillon, Thomas Wesarg, D. Martin-Bonniot, L. Gaertner, Sebastian Cozma, Julie Kosaner, Sandra Prentiss, P. Sasidharan, Jeroen J. Briaire, Jane Bradley, J. Debruyne, R. Hollow, Rajesh PatadiaLucas Mens, K. Veekmans, R. Greisiger, E. Harboun-Cohen, Stephanie Borel, Dayse Tavora-Vieira, Patrizia Mancini, Helen Cullington, Amy Han-Chi Ng, Adam Walkowiak, William H. Shapiro, Paul J. Govaerts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The programming of CIs is essential for good performance. However, no Good Clinical Practice guidelines exist. This paper reports on the results of an inventory of the current practice worldwide. A questionnaire was distributed to 47 CI centers. They follow 47600 recipients in 17 countries and 5 continents. The results were discussed during a debate. Sixty-two percent of the results were verified through individual interviews during the following months. Most centers (72%) participated in a cross-sectional study logging 5 consecutive fitting sessions in 5 different recipients. Data indicate that general practice starts with a single switch-on session, followed by three monthly sessions, three quarterly sessions, and then annual sessions, all containing one hour of programming and testing. The main focus lies on setting maximum and, to a lesser extent, minimum current levels per electrode. These levels are often determined on a few electrodes and then extrapolated. They are mainly based on subjective loudness perception by the CI user and, to a lesser extent, on pure tone and speech audiometry. Objective measures play a small role as indication of the global MAP profile. Other MAP parameters are rarely modified. Measurable targets are only defined for pure tone audiometry. Huge variation exists between centers on all aspects of the fitting practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number501738
JournalThe Scientific World Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this