New NICE guidance related to eligibility for cochlear implantation has been published.
It can be found here: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/TA566/chapter/1-Recommendations
Currently around 1,260 people per annum in England have cochlear implants. They estimate that the total number of people treated will increase to 2,790 by 2023/24. However they note it is very difficult to provide really accurate assessments in this area.
The key change in criteria is as follows and is lowering to 80dB HL from 90 dB HL tested at a greater range of frequencies than before and a change from the BKB test to the AB word test which is considered a better test of real world hearing.
For the purposes of this guidance, severe to profound deafness is defined as hearing only sounds that are louder than 80 dB HL (pure-tone audiometric threshold equal to or greater than 80 dB HL) at 2 or more frequencies (500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, 2,000 Hz, 3,000 Hz and 4,000 Hz) 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 Arthur Boothroyd word test presented at 70 dBA
for children, speech, language and listening skills appropriate to age, developmental stage and cognitive ability.
BCIG has issued a statement on the changes which can be read here: https://www.bcig.org.uk/nice-ta566/