Test–Retest Reliability of Low-Level Evoked Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine test–retest reliability of low-level evoked distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) as a function of L1, L2 level; f2 frequency; and test condition. A predictive relationship between these variables and the presence/absence of DPOAE responses was also examined. Method Sixteen ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2009
Test–Retest Reliability of Low-Level Evoked Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrew Stuart
    East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  • Amy L. Passmore
    East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  • Deborah S. Culbertson
    East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  • Sherri M. Jones
    East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  • Contact author: Andrew Stuart, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Allied Health Sciences, Health Sciences Building, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353. E-mail: stuarta@ecu.edu.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2009
Test–Retest Reliability of Low-Level Evoked Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2009, Vol. 52, 671-681. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/08-0118)
History: Received June 5, 2008 , Accepted September 23, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2009, Vol. 52, 671-681. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/08-0118)
History: Received June 5, 2008; Accepted September 23, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine test–retest reliability of low-level evoked distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) as a function of L1, L2 level; f2 frequency; and test condition. A predictive relationship between these variables and the presence/absence of DPOAE responses was also examined.

Method Sixteen normal-hearing young adults participated. DPOAEs were evoked to 12 tones with f2 frequencies ranging from 1500 Hz to 7546 Hz at 4 L2 levels between 45 dB SPL and 30 dB SPL. Four test conditions were employed: (a) initial test, (b) retest without probe removal, (c) retest with probe reinsertion, and (d) retest with probe reinsertion by a second tester.

Results L1, L2 level and f2 frequency were statistically significant (p < .0001) predictors of a DPOAE response (i.e., the presence of a DPOAE response was more likely to be observed at higher L1, L2 levels and lower f2 frequencies regardless of test condition). DPOAE levels were significantly affected by L1, L2 level and f2 frequency (p < .0001) but not by test condition. Intra- and intertester test–retest differences were not significantly different.

Conclusions The prevalence of missing responses coupled with large intersubject variability and intrasubject test–retest variability are a detriment to the clinical utility of DPOAEs evoked with low-level stimuli.

Acknowledgments
This article was presented in part at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Audiology, Denver, Colorado (April 20, 2007) and the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Boston, Massachusetts (November 15, 2007). Donald Holbert provided assistance with the statistical analyses. Lauren R. Smith assisted with data collection.
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