Long-Term Usage of Modern Signal Processing by Listeners With Severe or Profound Hearing Loss: A Retrospective Survey Purpose To investigate the long-term benefit of multichannel wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) alone and in combination with directional microphones and noise reduction/speech enhancement for listeners with severe or profound hearing loss. Method At the conclusion of a research project, 39 participants with severe or profound hearing loss ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2008
Long-Term Usage of Modern Signal Processing by Listeners With Severe or Profound Hearing Loss: A Retrospective Survey
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gitte Keidser
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Chatswood, Australia
  • David Hartley
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Chatswood, Australia
  • Lyndal Carter
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Chatswood, Australia
  • Contact author: Gitte Keidser, National Acoustic Laboratories, 126 Greville Street, Chatswood, NSW 2067, Australia. E-mail: gitte.keidser@nal.gov.au.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research and Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2008
Long-Term Usage of Modern Signal Processing by Listeners With Severe or Profound Hearing Loss: A Retrospective Survey
American Journal of Audiology, December 2008, Vol. 17, 136-146. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/07-0012)
History: Received March 29, 2007 , Revised September 17, 2007 , Accepted July 30, 2008
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2008, Vol. 17, 136-146. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/07-0012)
History: Received March 29, 2007; Revised September 17, 2007; Accepted July 30, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose To investigate the long-term benefit of multichannel wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) alone and in combination with directional microphones and noise reduction/speech enhancement for listeners with severe or profound hearing loss.

Method At the conclusion of a research project, 39 participants with severe or profound hearing loss were fitted with WDRC in one program and WDRC with directional microphones and speech enhancement enabled in a 2nd program. More than 2 years after the 1st participants exited the project, a retrospective survey was conducted to determine the participants' use of, and satisfaction with, the 2 programs.

Results From the 30 returned questionnaires, it seems that WDRC is used with a high degree of satisfaction in general everyday listening situations. The reported benefit from the addition of a directional microphone and speech enhancement for listening in noisy environments was lower and varied among the users. This variable was significantly correlated with how much the program was used.

Conclusions The less frequent and more varied use of the program with directional microphones and speech enhancement activated in combination suggests that these features may be best offered in a 2nd listening program for listeners with severe or profound hearing loss.

Acknowledgments
We thank GN ReSound, who partly sponsored the original project and who made it possible for the many study participants to retain the test devices and hence to try out modern technology in their own environments over the long term. We are also grateful to the many hearing impaired listeners who took the time to participate in the survey reported in this article. Finally, we would like to thank Harvey Dillon for valuable comments on a first draft of this article.
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