Benefits of Auditory Training for Aided Listening by Older Adults Purpose In this article, the authors provide an overview of auditory training programs for aided listening by older adults, review criteria for evaluating effectiveness, summarize results of published studies, report on 2 training programs currently undergoing assessment, and discuss directions and needs for future research. Method Experiments are ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   December 01, 2013
Benefits of Auditory Training for Aided Listening by Older Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Judy R. Dubno
    Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Judy R. Dubno: dubnojr@musc.edu
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   December 01, 2013
Benefits of Auditory Training for Aided Listening by Older Adults
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 335-338. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0080)
History: Received December 19, 2012 , Revised April 8, 2013 , Accepted April 9, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 335-338. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0080)
History: Received December 19, 2012; Revised April 8, 2013; Accepted April 9, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Purpose In this article, the authors provide an overview of auditory training programs for aided listening by older adults, review criteria for evaluating effectiveness, summarize results of published studies, report on 2 training programs currently undergoing assessment, and discuss directions and needs for future research.

Method Experiments are ongoing to evaluate 2 individual, computer-based speech-perception training programs: Indiana University (IU) word-based training and the Speech Perception Assessment and Training System (SPATS). Training and control subjects are older adults with mild-to-severe hearing loss. Subjects train for about 30 hr with monaurally presented, spectrally shaped stimuli (IU) or through loudspeakers with their own hearing aids (SPATS). Displays and feedback use auditory and visual/orthographic cues. Outcome measures include objective measures of speech recognition in noise and other training benefits.

Results Significant improvements were observed in open-set recognition of trained sounds, words, phrases, and sentences. Large individual differences in training benefit were apparent. Generalization varied with the speech-perception task, competing noise, listening strategy, and pretraining scores.

Conclusions High-level evidence is needed to support the effectiveness of auditory training for older adults as a supplement to aided listening. Studies are needed to predict who will benefit from specific types of training, to assess compliance and engagement, and to discover benefits beyond communication.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported (in part) by National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R33 DC 011174; the Hearing Health Foundation; the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute, with an academic home at the Medical University of South Carolina; National Institutes of Health/National Center for Research Resources Grant UL1 RR029882; and the MUSC Center for Biomedical Imaging. This investigation was conducted in a facility constructed with support from Research Facilities Improvement Program Grant C06 RR14516 from the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Research Resources. Additional support was provided by Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., Indiana University, and the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research/Portland VA Medical Center. Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., is the developer of SPATS. The contributions of co-investigators are gratefully acknowledged as follows: (1) IU word-based training: Jayne B. Ahlstrom, William J. Bologna, Stephanie L. Cute, Mark A. Eckert, Larry E. Humes, Stefanie E. Kuchinsky; (2) SPATS: Jayne B. Ahlstrom, Heather Belding, Emily Franko-Tobin, Gary R. Kidd, Stefanie E. Kuchinsky, Marjorie R. Leek, James D. Miller, Keri O'Connell, Charles S. Watson, Erin C. Wilbanks.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access