Melbourne audiology researchers study the effects of two cochlear implants in children

7 August 2014

Hearing-impaired children fitted with a second cochlear implant (CI) early in life, have significantly better outcomes in aspects of their communication and learning.
A five-year research study from the University of Melbourne shows that bilateral cochlear implantation resulted in improved language, social development, and academic outcomes for children.

University of Melbourne Audiology School
Study audiology at Melbourne

Lead researcher, Dr Julia Sarant from the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology said there are improved learning outcomes as well as, community cost benefits and greatly improved quality of life for hearing-impaired children.
“Children in this study with bilateral CIs developed vocabulary and spoken language significantly faster than children with only one CI.  This has enormous implications for their long-term future,” she said.
Severe-profound congenital hearing loss is a significant cost to society. In 2005, specialised education cost on average $25,000 per child, loss of productivity cost $6.7 billion, and social security benefits were paid to approximately 129,000 individuals who were unemployed due to hearing loss.
The study was conducted across Victoria, NSW, Qld, SA, and New Zealand, involving cochlear implant clinics and early intervention centres with over 160 children.
Recently, the NZ Health Department recommended a change of the current federal funding policy in favour of having all hearing-impaired children under the age of six years fitted with bilateral implants.
“I was asked to consult with policy makers in NZ and I am pleased they have noted these findings and made the appropriate changes,” said Dr Sarant.
The Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne has developed to be a leading international player in hearing research, largely due to its role in the development and improvement of cochlear implants and their application. The cochlear implant now provides hearing to more than 100,000 completely or profoundly deaf people in more than 60 countries around the world.

University of Melbourne’s Master of Clinical Audiology

Melbourne Audiology School’s Master of Clinical Audiology focuses on developing professional skills through a large program component of comprehensive clinical training. Clinical skills are supplemented by coursework and lectures that introduce students to graduate-level research methods, while maintaining a strong level of scientific acumen expected of students in the health sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Program: Master of Clinical Audiology
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: September 30, 2014

Apply to the University of Melbourne Audiology School!

University of Melbourne’s Master of of Speech Pathology

The University of Melbourne’s Master of Speech Pathology program is designed to provide comprehensive training in all aspects of speech pathology and to produce graduates who are ready to enter the profession. The first year of the course provides the scientific background in anatomy and physiology, auditory and acoustic phonetics, linguistics, speech and language disorders, clinical practice and processes. The second year builds on the specialized knowledge acquired in first year, develops clinical skills and introduces students to research methods in the field.
Program: Master of Speech Pathology
Location: Parkville campus, Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: February
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: September 30, 2014

Apply to the University of Melbourne Speech Pathology School!


For more information about audiology and speech pathology programs in Australia, please contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Sarah Bridson by emailing, or phone toll free at 1 866-698-7355.