A Brief Overview of Factors Affecting Speech Intelligibility of People With Hearing Loss: Implications for Amplification Purpose The authors aimed to determine the predictability of speech intelligibility of people with different degrees of hearing loss from audibility and other factors. Method After a brief overview of why people with hearing loss have greater difficulty in understanding speech than people with normal hearing, the authors ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   December 01, 2013
A Brief Overview of Factors Affecting Speech Intelligibility of People With Hearing Loss: Implications for Amplification
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Teresa Y. C. Ching
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Australian Hearing, Sydney, Australia
    The HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia
  • Harvey Dillon
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Australian Hearing, Sydney, Australia
    The HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Teresa Y. C. Ching: Teresa.Ching@nal.gov.au
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   December 01, 2013
A Brief Overview of Factors Affecting Speech Intelligibility of People With Hearing Loss: Implications for Amplification
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 306-309. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0075)
History: Received November 28, 2012 , Revised March 4, 2013 , Accepted March 5, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 306-309. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0075)
History: Received November 28, 2012; Revised March 4, 2013; Accepted March 5, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The authors aimed to determine the predictability of speech intelligibility of people with different degrees of hearing loss from audibility and other factors.

Method After a brief overview of why people with hearing loss have greater difficulty in understanding speech than people with normal hearing, the authors describe a study that was aimed to predict speech intelligibility from audibility, psychoacoustic abilities, cognitive ability, and age.

Results The study showed that the ability of people with hearing loss to extract speech information from an audible signal decreased with increase in hearing loss. This hearing loss desensitization was significantly related to hearing thresholds, sharpness of psychophysical tuning curves, presence of dead regions, age, and cognitive ability. After allowing for the effects of hearing loss, the authors found that speech intelligibility was significantly related to age and cognitive ability. The effects did not vary with frequency.

Conclusions The current evidence supports the allowance of hearing loss desensitization in prescribing amplification that is aimed to maximize speech intelligibility. There is insufficient evidence to recommend the inclusion of estimates of frequency resolution or dead regions in prescribing amplification.

Acknowledgments
We acknowledge the financial support of the HEARing CRC, established and supported under the Cooperative Research Centres Program, an initiative of the Australian Government. This article was presented at the AHS 2012 Conference, Lake Como, Italy, June 7–9, 2012.
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