Acceptance of Noise Growth Patterns in Hearing Aid Users Purpose To examine whether the effects of speech presentation level on acceptance of noise could differentiate full-time, part-time, and nonusers of hearing aids and whether these effects could predict hearing aid use. Method Participants were separated into 3 groups on the basis of hearing aid use: (a) full-time ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2008
Acceptance of Noise Growth Patterns in Hearing Aid Users
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melinda C. Freyaldenhoven
    Louisiana Tech University, Ruston
  • Patrick N. Plyler
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • James W. Thelin
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Robert A. Muenchen
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Contact author: Melinda C. Freyaldenhoven, Department of Speech, Louisiana Tech University, P.O. Box 3165, Ruston, LA 71272. E-mail: melinda@latech.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2008
Acceptance of Noise Growth Patterns in Hearing Aid Users
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2008, Vol. 51, 126-135. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/009)
History: Received October 9, 2006 , Revised February 21, 2007 , Accepted May 1, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2008, Vol. 51, 126-135. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/009)
History: Received October 9, 2006; Revised February 21, 2007; Accepted May 1, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose To examine whether the effects of speech presentation level on acceptance of noise could differentiate full-time, part-time, and nonusers of hearing aids and whether these effects could predict hearing aid use.

Method Participants were separated into 3 groups on the basis of hearing aid use: (a) full-time use, (b) part-time use, or (c) nonuse. Acceptable noise levels (ANLs) were measured conventionally and at 8 fixed presentation levels. The effects of presentation level on ANL were determined by calculating global ANL (ANL averaged across presentation level) and ANL growth (slope of the ANL function).

Results Global ANLs were smaller for full-time users than for part-time users and nonusers; however, global ANLs were not different for part-time users and nonusers. ANL growth differentiated full-time users from nonusers only. Conventional ANL predicted hearing aid use with 68% accuracy. Compared with conventional ANL, the accuracy of the prediction for global ANL and ANL growth decreased, and the accuracy of the prediction at presentation levels of 65 to 75 dB HL was maintained.

Conclusions Global ANL differentiated the hearing aid groups in the same manner as conventional ANL. The effects of presentation level on acceptance of noise did not considerably increase the accuracy of the prediction compared with conventional ANL. Clinical applications are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant F31 DC007359-02 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. We also thank the Scholarly Activity and Research Incentive Committee and the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the University of Tennessee for financial support for the payment of participants.
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