The effect of varying test administration and scoring procedures on the test reliability of three tests of auditory processing disorder

Author/Creator ORCID
Towson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies
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The auditory processing abilities of 33 older adults (10 male, 23 female) ranging in age from 50 to 65 years were evaluated using the Frequency Pattern Test (FPT), Competing Sentences Test (CST), and Low-Pass Filtered Speech Test (LPFST). All participants were given each test: (1) in accordance with published guidelines relative to number of test items, use of repetitions of incorrectly answered test items, and scoring methods used to standardize the test; and (2) with variances from standardized methodology specific to number of test items, use of repetitions, and scoring methods. Results revealed significant effects of varying use of repetitions, as well as an interaction between number of test items and use of repetitions, on test outcome. Based on these findings, it is imperative that audiologists administer tests of auditory processing disorder (APD) in accordance with published guidelines in order to improve test reliability. If audiologists choose to vary test administration procedures from those used to standardize the test, they must obtain their own normative data values by which to compare their results. In doing so, over-diagnosis of APD will be reduced and the diagnostic value of tests of APD will be enhanced. It is this author's hope that by highlighting the importance of maintaining uniform test administration and scoring procedures, at least a portion of the current controversy surrounding the assessment and diagnosis of APD will be reduced.