The effects of acoustically modified speech tests on the speech perception abilities of individuals with sensorineural hearing loss


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Towson University. Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies


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Audiologists determine the maximum speech perception abilities of individuals with hearing loss in order to accurately evaluate speech understanding and estimate communication impairment, assess the need for amplification, authenticate hearing aid benefit, and provide audiologic rehabilitation and counseling. In the current study, word and sentence tests were acoustically-modified to see if individuals with flat or sloping mild to moderately-severe SNHL performed better in the modified conditions versus the unmodified condition. Mid- and high-frequency energy was added into NU-6 word lists and HINT sentence lists using three different filter conditions (2 dB/octave, 5 dB/octave, and 8 dB/octave) and a cutoff frequency of 1000 Hz to account for the USOM by low frequency speech sounds. Results from 28 participants revealed statistically-significant improvements in WRS and RTS scores between the unmodified NU-6 and HINT lists to the acoustically-modified lists. It was determined that the acoustically-modified speech stimuli provided additional mid- to high-frequency energy and therefore reduced the USOM, which allows for the most accurate measurement of speech perception abilities and prediction of aided benefit for individuals with SNHL.