Article  |   December 2007
Objective and Subjective Hearing Aid Assessment Outcomes
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa Lucks Mendel
    The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
  • Contact author: Lisa Lucks Mendel, School of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, The University of Memphis, 807 Jefferson Avenue, Memphis, TN 38105. E-mail: lmendel@memphis.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology
Article   |   December 2007
Objective and Subjective Hearing Aid Assessment Outcomes
American Journal of Audiology, December 2007, Vol. 16, 118-129. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2007/016)
History: Received October 13, 2006 , Revised March 8, 2007 , Accepted May 9, 2007
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2007, Vol. 16, 118-129. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2007/016)
History: Received October 13, 2006; Revised March 8, 2007; Accepted May 9, 2007

Purpose: To determine whether specific sentence recognition assessments were sensitive enough to serve as objective outcome measurements that document subjective improvements in speech understanding with hearing aids.

Method: The Revised Speech Perception in Noise test (R-SPIN; R. C. Bilger, J. M. Nuetzel, W. M. Rabinowitz, & C. Rzeczkowski, 1984), the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT; M. Nilsson, S. D. Soli, & J. A. Sullivan, 1994), and the Quick Speech-in-Noise test (QuickSIN; Etymotic Research, 2001; M. C. Killion, P. A. Niquette, G. I. Gudmundsen, L. J. Revit, & S. Banerjee, 2004) were administered to 21 hearing aid users to determine whether the tests could adequately document improvements in speech understanding with hearing aids compared with the research participants' self-assessments of their own performance. Comparisons were made between unaided and aided performance on these sentence tests and on the Hearing Aid Performance Inventory (HAPI; B. E. Walden, M. Demorest, & E. Hepler, 1984).

Results: The R-SPIN, the HINT Quiet threshold, and the QuickSIN signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) loss were the most sensitive of the sentence recognition tests to objectively assess improvements in speech perception performance with hearing aids. Comparisons among the subjective and objective outcome measures documented that HAPI ratings improved as performance on the R-SPIN, the HINT Quiet threshold, and the QuickSIN SNR loss improved.

Conclusions: Objective documentation of subjective impressions is essential for determining the efficacy of treatment outcomes in hearing aid fitting. The findings reported here more clearly define the relationship between objective and subjective outcome measures in an attempt to better define true hearing aid benefit.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this article were presented at the 27th International Congress of Audiology, Phoenix, Arizona, September 2004, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 2004. This work was funded through the 2001 Audiology Outcomes Grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. Appreciation is expressed to Ginger A. Gray and Bridget G. Lee for their assistance in developing the protocols and collecting data. Thanks also to the clinical faculty and students from the Memphis Speech and Hearing Center for their assistance in the recruitment of research participants.
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