Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation (PhD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Brent T. Williams

Committee Member

Fran Hagstrom

Second Committee Member

Stephanie L. Lusk

Third Committee Member

Samuel R. Atcherson


Health and enivronmental sciences, Auditory rehabilitation, Cochlear implants, Deaf, Hard of hearing, Hearing loss, Rehabilitation


Hearing loss can drastically impact the quality of life of the individual who has hearing loss as well as the frequent communication partners of the individual with hearing loss. There is ample research that discusses the use of auditory rehabilitation with individuals who utilize hearing aids; however, there is little evidence to support its use with individuals who utilize cochlear implants. A qualitative methodology was utilized to examine the phenomenon recipients of cochlear implants and their spouses experience during the auditory rehabilitation process. Six couples, a total of twelve individuals, participated in this study. Eight axial codes were identified through grounded theory data analysis including: pre-operational experience, persistent support, actions, positive mentality, group support, improved Social motivation, spousal support, and the importance of auditory rehabilitation. These codes were further analyzed to the selective codes of support, auditory rehabilitation, and process which contributed to the theory of improved quality of life for recipients of cochlear implants and their spouses.