Computer-Automated Clinical Technique for Tinnitus Quantification This study addresses the need for uniformity in techniques for clinical quantification of tinnitus. Because automation can be an effective means to achieve standardization, this laboratory is developing techniques to perform computer-automated tinnitus testing. The present study was conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining reliable tinnitus measures using a ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2000
Computer-Automated Clinical Technique for Tinnitus Quantification
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James A. Henry
    RR&D National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, VA Medical Center (R&DNCRAR), P.O. Box 1034, Portland, OR 97207
  • Stephen A. Fausti
    RR&D National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, VA Medical Center (R&DNCRAR), P.O. Box 1034, Portland, OR 97207
  • Christopher L. Flick
    Veterans Affairs RR&D National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR
  • Wendy J. Helt
    Veterans Affairs RR&D National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR
  • Roger M. Ellingson
    Veterans Affairs RR&D National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: henryj@ohsu.edu
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2000
Computer-Automated Clinical Technique for Tinnitus Quantification
American Journal of Audiology, June 2000, Vol. 9, 36-49. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2000/002)
History: Received July 12, 1999 , Accepted November 3, 1999
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2000, Vol. 9, 36-49. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2000/002)
History: Received July 12, 1999; Accepted November 3, 1999

This study addresses the need for uniformity in techniques for clinical quantification of tinnitus. Because automation can be an effective means to achieve standardization, this laboratory is developing techniques to perform computer-automated tinnitus testing. The present study was conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining reliable tinnitus measures using a fully automated system. A computer-controlled psychoacoustical system was developed to quantify tinnitus loudness and pitch using a tone-matching technique. Hearing thresholds were also obtained as part of the procedure. The system generated test stimuli and simultaneously controlled a notebook computer positioned in the sound chamber facing the patient. The notebook computer displayed instructions for responding and relayed response choices through on-screen "buttons" that the patient touched with a pen device. Twenty individuals with tinnitus were evaluated with the technique over two sessions, and responses were analyzed for test-retest reliability. Analyses revealed good reliability of thresholds, loudness matches, and pitch matches. These results demonstrate that use of a fully automated system to obtain reliable measurements of tinnitus loudness and pitch is feasible for clinical application.

Acknowledgments
The authors thank Pritesh Pandya, M. S., Alison Gilbert, M. S., and Richard Frey for their helpful reviews of the manuscript. Funding for this study was provided by Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service (RR&D C93-693AP).
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