BACKGROUND: Cochlear implantation (CI) and the accompanying rehabilitation has become a routine procedure in hearing restoration. Literature is sparse on elderly CI recipients focusing on the issue of age and their inclined auditory resolution, taking their diminished cognitive function into account, which requires adaptation of rehabilitation programs to overcome habituation.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to show that a few adjustments in the therapy program towards age, mental, physical and auditory condition significantly improve music perception and overall auditory benefit, hence normal communication and social interactions can be found.
METHODS: Subjects implanted with a CI 65 years or older were compared to age-matched normal hearing subjects. Questionnaires were administered before and after ten music therapy sessions, to evaluate the participant's music habits, the perception of sound quality and self-awareness and hearing implant satisfaction.
RESULTS: The greatest benefit was seen in participants' gain in self-confidence and enjoyable music perception. Not only did the amount of listening to music increase, but also the impression of sound quality changed from poor up to good/very good sound quality.
CONCLUSIONS: The music therapy was well accepted and resulted in beneficial subjective as well as objective outcomes towards hearing and music impression, hence improved quality of life.