Master thesis

Andrés Cuesta Gonzalo.
Análisis del Coste-Utilidad del Implante Coclear Bilateral en Niños (Cost-Utility Analyses of Bilateral Cochlear Implantation in Children). Dept. Artificial Intelligence. UNED, Madrid, Spain, 2012.
Supervisor: Francisco Javier Díez Vegas.

57 pages. PDF (562 KB), BibTeX entry.


The technology of cochlear implants (CI) has prevailed as a treatment for severe to profound deafness. CIs restore to some extent the ability to perceive sound and, therefore, have an important effect on the recipient’s quality of life. The procedure requires surgery for the implantation and it has high economic costs. Furthermore, CIs can be received in one ear (unilateral implantation, UCI) or in both of them (bilateral implantation, BCI).

The health policy to follow with regard to CI must be based on the cost-utility analysis, which allows knowing and comparing the economic cost of a medical procedure with the improvement that is obtained on quality of life of the patients. It is especially important to assess the effect of their use in children with congenital or early hearing loss, since the CI can allow them to be naturally integrated in the environments of people without deafness during the important time of personal growth and maturity.

While UCI has a proven efficiency and is recommended and used usually with children with severe to profound deafness, BCI technique has not yet received the general approval. There are more and more studies dedicated to this question. In this moment, cost-utility the analyses of BCI in children suggest that the treatment may be cost-effective, but a more specific economic analysis is still required.

This work tries to be a guide to know the state of the art about the cost-utility of the cochlear implants in children. So we have developed:

In the last two sections we have paid special attention to the works elaborated in Spain about these issues.