Semi-Structured Listening Experience (Listening Training) in Hearing Aid Fitting: Influence on Dichotic Listening Purpose In this study, the authors tested whether training with amplified, clear speech in regular room acoustics would result in larger perceptual gains of auditory processing in elderly hearing aid users. Method Elderly participants with hearing impairment (N = 36, ages 64–88) were fitted with bilateral hearing aids ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   December 01, 2013
Semi-Structured Listening Experience (Listening Training) in Hearing Aid Fitting: Influence on Dichotic Listening
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Limor Lavie
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Joseph Attias
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Avi Karni
    The E. J. Safra Brain Research Center, University of Haifa, Israel
  • 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 Limor Lavie: lavielimor@gmail.com
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   December 01, 2013
Semi-Structured Listening Experience (Listening Training) in Hearing Aid Fitting: Influence on Dichotic Listening
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 347-350. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0083)
History: Received January 2, 2013 , Revised March 28, 2013 , Accepted April 3, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 347-350. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0083)
History: Received January 2, 2013; Revised March 28, 2013; Accepted April 3, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose In this study, the authors tested whether training with amplified, clear speech in regular room acoustics would result in larger perceptual gains of auditory processing in elderly hearing aid users.

Method Elderly participants with hearing impairment (N = 36, ages 64–88) were fitted with bilateral hearing aids and were randomly assigned to 2 unequal groups. Study group participants were provided with 7 sessions (1 month) of individual listening training during which a free conversation was conducted, with the aim of stimulating the amplified ears with verbal auditory input. The control group participants were fitted with hearing aids without training. Auditory processing changes were assessed through the use of dichotic listening tasks.

Results During hearing aid use, dichotic listening scores—tested without the hearing aids—improved in both groups, mainly in the non-dominant ears. The overall dichotic performance was significantly higher in the study group, and the main effect of auditory training was manifested in the scores of the dominant ear.

Conclusions Hearing aid use may improve auditory processing performance as tested in unaided conditions. Listening training has an additional beneficial effect on the dominant ear—that is, the ear with the lesser potential for improvement. Listening training in elderly adults presumably enhanced the acclimatization process by better recruiting the potential for auditory plasticity and improving attention recruitment.

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