Audibility and Speech Perception of Children Using Wide Dynamic Range Compression Hearing Aids Purpose This study examined the relation of audibility for frequency-specific sounds and the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) to speech perception abilities of children with sensorineural hearing loss using digital signal-processing hearing aids with wide dynamic range compression. Method Twenty-six children age 5–15 years with pure-tone averages (0.5, 1.0, ... Research Article
EDITOR'S AWARD
Research Article  |   December 01, 2006
Audibility and Speech Perception of Children Using Wide Dynamic Range Compression Hearing Aids
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa S. Davidson
    Central Institute for the Deaf, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Margaret W. Skinner
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Contact author: Lisa S. Davidson, Central Institute for the Deaf at Washington University, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, 4560 Clayton Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110. E-mail: davidsonl@ent.wustl.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research and Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2006
Audibility and Speech Perception of Children Using Wide Dynamic Range Compression Hearing Aids
American Journal of Audiology, December 2006, Vol. 15, 141-153. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2006/018)
History: Received April 16, 2006 , Accepted October 3, 2006
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2006, Vol. 15, 141-153. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2006/018)
History: Received April 16, 2006; Accepted October 3, 2006

Purpose This study examined the relation of audibility for frequency-specific sounds and the Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) to speech perception abilities of children with sensorineural hearing loss using digital signal-processing hearing aids with wide dynamic range compression.

Method Twenty-six children age 5–15 years with pure-tone averages (0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 kHz) from 60-98 dB HL participated. Three subgroups were created based on the compression characteristics of each hearing aid. Minimum audibility was determined using aided thresholds for frequency-modulated tones and the SII calculated at 55 and 70 dB SPL using the simulated real-ear output of the hearing aid. The Lexical Neighborhood Test (LNT; K. I. Kirk, D. B. Pisoni, & M. J. Osberger, 1995) was presented at 50 and 70 dB SPL.

Results LNT scores at 70 dB SPL were significantly higher than at 50 dB SPL. Average aided thresholds at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 kHz were negatively correlated with LNT scores at 50 dB SPL, and SIIs at 55 and 70 dB SPL were positively correlated with LNT scores at 50 and 70 dB SPL.

Conclusions Results support using aided thresholds and speech test scores at soft to loud levels as part of the amplification fitting process.

Acknowledgments
Preparation of this article was supported by National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC000581. Funding for this project was provided by the following corporations: Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Americas, Oticon, Widex, and Westar. This article is based on a doctoral research study completed at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, by the first author. We are deeply grateful to the children who participated in this study. We are also grateful to Ann Geers, Michael Valente, Michael Strube, William Clark, Ira Hirsh, and Mitch Sommers for providing valuable guidance for this research study. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their contributions: Peter Blamey, Christine Brenner, Bill Cole, David Fabry, Francis Kuk, Donald Schum, Richard Seewald, and Patricia Stelmachowicz.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access