Using the Speech Understanding in Noise (SUN) Test for Adult Hearing Screening1 PurposeTo develop a novel speech-in-noise test for adult hearing screening—the Speech Understanding in Noise (SUN) test. The goal was to design a fast, automated, easy-to-use test to identify difficulties in speech communication.MethodThe SUN test consists of a short list of intervocalic consonants in noise presented in a forced-choice paradigm by ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   June 01, 2013
Using the Speech Understanding in Noise (SUN) Test for Adult Hearing Screening1
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alessia Paglialonga
    CNR, Italian National Research Council, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Milan, Italy
  • Ferdinando Grandori
    CNR, Italian National Research Council, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Milan, Italy
  • Gabriella Tognola
    CNR, Italian National Research Council, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Milan, Italy
  • Correspondence to Alessia Paglialonga: alessia.paglialonga@polimi.it
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Early Identification & Intervention / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   June 01, 2013
Using the Speech Understanding in Noise (SUN) Test for Adult Hearing Screening1
American Journal of Audiology, June 2013, Vol. 22, 171-174. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0055)
History: Received October 25, 2012 , Accepted December 20, 2012
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2013, Vol. 22, 171-174. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0055)
History: Received October 25, 2012; Accepted December 20, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

PurposeTo develop a novel speech-in-noise test for adult hearing screening—the Speech Understanding in Noise (SUN) test. The goal was to design a fast, automated, easy-to-use test to identify difficulties in speech communication.

MethodThe SUN test consists of a short list of intervocalic consonants in noise presented in a forced-choice paradigm by means of a touch screen. The SUN test was developed and evaluated in an overall population of >6,000 participants. The test is available in various languages (i.e., English, French, German, and Italian) and continues to be developed in others (e.g., Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin).

ResultsTest time was <1 min/ear. Test–retest reliability was very good. The test showed good agreement with conventional clinical measures (e.g., pure-tone testing, speech-in-noise testing, and self-reported hearing handicap). The test's sensitivity and specificity to identify disabling hearing impairment were 84% and 75%, respectively. The same results were obtained in low and high ambient noise.

ConclusionThe SUN test is fast, repeatable, easy to use, self-explanatory, specific to the impairment, and robust to ambient noise. It may be a viable approach for adult hearing screening in clinical as well as nonclinical settings.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank all those who contributed to the development and evaluation of the SUN test in the different languages. Special thanks go to Antonio Cesarani, Federica Di Berardino, and colleagues (Audiology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cè Granda - Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Milan, Italy); Thomas Janssen and Sabine Lochmar (Department of Otolaryngology at the Klinikum rechts der Isar in Munich, Germany); Martin Walger (Jean-Uhrmacher-Institut für klinische HNO-Forschung in Köln, Germany); Anthony Fenech (ENT Outpatients & Audiology Clinic at the Mater Dei Hospital in B'Kara, Malta); Theresa Hnath Chisolm, Michelle Arnold, and Angela Ambrosio (Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida); and Naïma Deggouj and Anne Doyen (Service d'Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie at the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Centre d'Audiophonologie at the Ecole de Santé Publique, Université Catholique de Louvain in Bruxelles, and Centre Hospitalier de Wallonie Picarde Notre-Dame in Tournai, Belgium). The authors are also grateful to the Lions Clubs International of Italy (districts: 108 IB1, 108 IB4) for their support in the organization, promotion, and management of several pilot screening initiatives in Italy.
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