Investigating the benefits of bilateral cochlear implants for children and young adults and developing evidence-based clinical management practices

Project Details

Traditionally, children with bilateral severe-profound/profound hearing loss received a unilateral cochlear implant.  Beginning in 2003, the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital began providing bilateral implants to children.  Bilateral implantation provides access to the substantial benefits provided by two-ear (bilateral) hearing.

The aim of this project is to investigate the benefits of bilateral implantation for toddlers, children and young adults, and to develop evidence-based clinical management practices.  Project areas include:

  1. speech perception in noise
  2. spatial hearing
  3. listening effort
  4. everyday listening performance in home and classroom environments
  5. functional outcomes, such as usage rates and attitude
  6. programming (mapping) bilateral implants


  • Ms Rogayeh Abdi
  • Professor Richard Dowell, University of Melbourne
  • Professor David Harris, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Mansze Mok
  • Dr Julia Sarant, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Richard van Hoesel, University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Robert Briggs, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Cochlear Implant Clinic
  • Dr Peter Busby, Cochlear Limited
  • Dr Jaime Leigh, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Cochlear Implant Clinic
  • Professor William Noble, University of New England


  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
  • Deafness Foundation
  • Action on Hearing Loss
  • Collier Foundation
  • William Angliss Charitable Fund

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

  • Abdi, R., Galvin, K., & Dowell, R. (2015). Comparing right and left  maps of children with simultaneous bilateral cochlear implants. Paper presented at the Asia Pacific Symposium on Cochlear Implants and Related Sciences, Beijing.
  • Abdi, R., Galvin, K., & Dowell, R. (2016). Analyzing the maps of children with simultaneous bilateral cochlear implants. Paper presented at the 4th International Congress on Cochlear Implant and Related Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Research Publications

  • Galvin, K; Dowell, R; van Hoesel, R; Mok, M, Speech detection in noise for young bilaterally implanted children: Is there evidence of binaural benefit over the shadowed ear? Ear & Hear, in press.
  • Galvin, K; Mok, M, Everyday listening performance of children before and after receiving a second cochlear implant: Results using the parent version of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale. Ear & Hear, 37 2016, 93-102.
  • Galvin, K; Sarant, J; Harris, D; Bennet, L; Mok, M; Canagasabey, M, Performance ratings for children using bilateral cochlear implants obtained with the Speech, Spatial, and Other Qualities of Hearing Scale for parents. Cochlear Imp Intl, 16 2015, S19-22.
  • Galvin, K, Achievement of early clinical milestones and long-term functional outcomes for children and young adults with bilateral cochlear implants. Cochlear Imp Intl, 16 2015, S16.
  • Galvin, K; Holland, J; Hughes, K, Longer term functional outcomes and everyday listening performance for young children through to young adults using bilateral implants. Ear & Hear, 35(2) 2014, 171-182.
  • Galvin, K; Noble, W, Adaptation of the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale for use with children, parents, and teachers. Cochlear Imp Intl, 14(3) 2013, 135-141.
  • Hughes, K; Galvin, K, Measuring listening effort expended by adolescents and young adults with unilateral or bilateral cochlear implants or normal hearing. Cochlear Imp Intl, 14(3) 2013, 121-129.
  • Galvin, K; Hughes, K, Adapting to bilateral cochlear implants: early post-operative device use by children receiving sequential or simultaneous implants at or before 3.5 years. Cochlear Imp Intl, 13(2) 2012, 105-112.
  • Holland, J; Galvin, K; Briggs, R, Planned simultaneous bilateral cochlear implant operations: How often do children receive only one implant? Intl J Ped Otorhinolaryngol, 76(3) 2012, 396-399.

Research Group

Bilateral and Binaural Hearing

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Mental Health

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Audiology and Speech Pathology

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