Longitudinal Study of Hearing Aid Effectiveness. I Objective Measures Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1993
Longitudinal Study of Hearing Aid Effectiveness. I
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ruth A. Bender
    University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Diane P. Niebuhr
    University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Janet P. Getta
    University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Charles V. Anderson
    University of Iowa Iowa City
  • Contact author: Ruth A. Bentler, PhD, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1993
Longitudinal Study of Hearing Aid Effectiveness. I
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1993, Vol. 36, 808-819. doi:10.1044/jshr.3604.808
History: Received July 28, 1992 , Accepted March 5, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1993, Vol. 36, 808-819. doi:10.1044/jshr.3604.808
History: Received July 28, 1992; Accepted March 5, 1993

This report is the first of two detailing a longitudinal follow-up of hearing aid users. Sixty-five subjects were followed for 12 months post-hearing aid fitting. Objective tests included insertion gain, the Speech Perception in Noise (SPIN) test (Kalikow, Stevens & Elliott, 1977; Bilger, Neutzel, Rabinowitz, & Rzeczkowski, 1984) and the Nonsense Syllable Test (NST) (Levitt & Resnick, 1978) presented in quiet and noise backgrounds. Initially each subject’s hearing aid was fit to the revised National Acoustic Laboratories prescriptive formula (NAL-R) (Byrne & Dillon, 1986) using insertion gain measures. Use gain, measured at 6 and 12 months post-fitting, indicated that subjects generally used those prescribed values, except for subjects in the steeply sloping configuration subgroup. The NST and SPIN tests were administered at the fitting and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months post-fitting. No change in performance, or training effect, was found for the group or for factors of experience, degree of hearing loss, configuration of hearing loss, use time, or circuit type. Failure to demonstrate a training effect may be attributed, in part, to the fact that initial speech recognition testing was done with the hearing aid volume set at the prescribed values. None of the circuits used showed performance superiority, except when comparing scores for the NST obtained in a quiet background to those obtained in a background of speech-weighted noise. In that comparison, the users of adaptive filter circuits exhibited less deterioration of performance in a noise background.

Acknowledgment
The authors acknowledge Deb Seyfried for her insight and diligence during the data collection, and Zezhang Hou and John Tsimikas for their assistance in the statistical analyses. The useful comments and suggestions provided by Dave Fabry and Jerry Punch are acknowledged and greatly appreciated.
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