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Evidence to Improve Care

Implantable Devices for Single-Sided Deafness and Conductive or Mixed Hearing Loss


Draft Recommendation

Health Quality Ontario, under the guidance of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends publicly funding:

  • Cochlear implantation for adults and children with single-sided deafness

  • Bone-conduction implantable devices for adults and children with single-sided deafness who have a contraindication to cochlear implantation

  • Bone-conduction implantable devices for adults and children with conductive or mixed hearing loss

Read the draft recommendation report

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Some people with hearing loss are not good candidates for standard hearing aids, and surgically inserted devices may help restore their hearing. A cochlear implant is a device that helps the brain perceive sound, and a bone-conduction implant is a device that activates hearing via skull vibration.

Health Quality Ontario looked at how safe and effective these devices are for three types of hearing loss: single-sided deafness, which is profound sensorineural hearing loss (caused by damage to the organ or the nerve in the inner ear) or hearing that is not functional in one ear; conductive hearing loss, caused by a mechanical problem with the ear’s ability to conduct sound vibrations; and mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

We also looked at the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of publicly funding cochlear and bone-conduction implants, and we talked with people with single-sided deafness, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss to learn about their experiences, preferences and values.

Read the full Health Technology Assessment report for more information.

Implantable Devices for Single-Sided Deafness and Conductive or Mixed Hearing Loss: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
November 2018

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About Health Quality Ontario

Health Quality Ontario is the provincial lead on the quality of health care. We help nurses, doctors and other health care professionals working hard on the frontlines be more effective in what they do—by providing objective advice and data, and by supporting them and government in improving health care for the people of Ontario.

We focus on making health care more effective, efficient and affordable through a legislative mandate of:

  • Reporting to the public, organizations, government and health care providers on how the health system is performing,

  • Finding the best evidence of what works, and

  • Translating this evidence into clinical standards; recommendations to health care professionals and funders; and tools that health care providers can easily put into practice to make improvements.

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