Review  |   December 2012
An Evidence-Based Systematic Review of Directional Microphones and Digital Noise Reduction Hearing Aids in School-Age Children With Hearing Loss
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rebecca A. Venediktov
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • Jaumeiko J. Coleman
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • Hillary M. Leech
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • This systematic review was conducted under the auspices of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; however, this is not an official position statement of the Association.
    This systematic review was conducted under the auspices of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; however, this is not an official position statement of the Association.×
  • Correspondence to Ryan W. McCreery: Ryan.McCreery@boystown.org
  • Hillary M. Leech is now at the Carroll County Public Schools, Maryland.
    Hillary M. Leech is now at the Carroll County Public Schools, Maryland.×
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Review
Review   |   December 2012
An Evidence-Based Systematic Review of Directional Microphones and Digital Noise Reduction Hearing Aids in School-Age Children With Hearing Loss
American Journal of Audiology December 2012, Vol.21, 295-312. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0014)
History: Accepted 08 Jul 2012 , Received 13 Mar 2012 , Revised 02 Jul 2012
American Journal of Audiology December 2012, Vol.21, 295-312. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0014)
History: Accepted 08 Jul 2012 , Received 13 Mar 2012 , Revised 02 Jul 2012

Purpose: The purpose of this evidence-based systematic review was to evaluate the efficacy of digital noise reduction and directional microphones for outcome measures of audibility, speech recognition, speech and language, and self- or parent-report in pediatric hearing aid users.

Method: The authors searched 26 databases for experimental studies published after 1980 addressing one or more clinical questions and meeting all inclusion criteria. The authors evaluated studies for methodological quality and reported or calculated p values and effect sizes when possible.

Results: A systematic search of the literature resulted in the inclusion of 4 digital noise reduction and 7 directional microphone studies (in 9 journal articles) that addressed speech recognition, speech and language, and/or self- or parent-report outcomes. No digital noise reduction or directional microphone studies addressed audibility outcomes.

Conclusions: On the basis of a moderate level of evidence, digital noise reduction was not found to improve or degrade speech understanding. Additional research is needed before conclusions can be drawn regarding the impact of digital noise reduction on important speech, language, hearing, and satisfaction outcomes. Moderate evidence also indicates that directional microphones resulted in improved speech recognition in controlled optimal settings; however, additional research is needed to determine the effectiveness of directional microphones in actual everyday listening environments.

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