Objective: Measurement of hearing aid outcomes is necessary for demonstration of treatment efficacy, third-party payment, and cost-benefit analysis. Outcomes are usually measured with hearing-related questionnaires and/or tests of speech recognition. However, results from these two types of test often conflict. In this paper, we provide data from a new test measure, known as the Performance-Perceptual Test (PPT), in which subjective and performance aspects of hearing in noise are measured using the same test materials and procedures. A Performance Speech Reception Threshold (SRTN) and a Perceptual SRTN are measured using the Hearing In Noise Test materials and adaptive procedure. A third variable, the discrepancy between these two SRTNs, is also computed. It measures the accuracy with which subjects assess their own hearing ability and is referred to as the Performance-Perceptual Discrepancy (PPDIS). Design: One hundred seven subjects between 24 and 83 yr of age took part. Thirty-three subjects had normal hearing, while the remaining seventy-four had symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss. Of the subjects with impaired hearing, 24 wore hearing aids and 50 did not. All subjects underwent routine audiological examination and completed the PPT and the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly/Adults on two occasions, between 1 and 2 wk apart. The PPT was conducted for unaided listening with the masker level set to 50, 65, and 80 dB SPL. Results: PPT data show that the subjects with normal hearing have significantly better Performance and Perceptual SRTNs at each test level than the subjects with impaired hearing but that PPDIS values do not differ between the groups. Test-retest reliability for the PPT is excellent (r-values > 0.93 for all conditions). Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the Performance SRTN, the PPDIS, and age explain 40% of the variance in reported handicap (Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly/Adults scores). More specifically, poorer performance, underestimation of hearing ability and younger age result in greater reported handicap, and vice versa. Conclusion: Reported handicap consists of a performance component and a (mis)perception component, as measured by the Performance SRTN and the PPDIS respectively. The PPT should thus prove to be a valuable tool for better understanding why some individuals complain of hearing difficulties but have only a mild hearing loss or conversely report few difficulties in the presence of substantial impairment. The measure would thus seem to provide both an explanation and a counseling tool for patients for whom there is a mismatch between reported and measured hearing difficulties.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Ear and hearing|
|State||Published - Apr 1 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing