Development of Materials for the Clinical Assessment of Speech Recognition The Speech Sound Pattern Discrimination Test Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2003
Development of Materials for the Clinical Assessment of Speech Recognition
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joseph H. Bochner
    Professional Assessment and Information Services and National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, NY
  • Wayne M. Garrison
    Professional Assessment and Information Services Baltimore, MD
  • Joan E. Sussman
    University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
  • Robert F. Burkard
    University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
  • Contact author: Joseph H. Bochner, PhD, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology, 52 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5604. E-mail: jhbncp@rit.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2003
Development of Materials for the Clinical Assessment of Speech Recognition
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2003, Vol. 46, 889-900. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/069)
History: Received April 23, 2002 , Accepted January 14, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2003, Vol. 46, 889-900. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/069)
History: Received April 23, 2002; Accepted January 14, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the validity and reliability of materials designed for an assessment procedure capable of making meaningful distinctions in speech recognition ability among individuals having mild-to-moderate hearing losses. Sets of phonetic contrasts were presented within sentence contexts to 53 listeners (22 normal hearing, 31 hearing impaired) in 4 listening conditions (quiet and with background competition at signal-to-noise ratios of +5, 0, and –5 dB). The listeners were asked to discriminate pairs of sentences (e.g., "The man hid the dog" and "The man hit the dog") using same-different judgments. Their performances were analyzed in a manner enabling comparisons among items in terms of the classification of phonetic contrasts. Listener performance was also compared to performance on a set of independent variables, including the W-22 and QuickSIN speech tests, high-frequency hearing loss, speech reception threshold, listener age, and others. Results indicated that the new materials distinguished the normal-hearing from the hearing-impaired group and that listener performance (a) declined about 17% for each 5 dB decrement in SNR and (b) was influenced by the phonetic content of items in a manner similar to that reported by G. A. Miller and P. E. Nicely (1955) . The performances of the hearing-impaired listeners were much more strongly related to high-frequency hearing loss, listener age, and other variables than were their performances on either the W-22 or QuickSIN tests. These findings are discussed with specific reference to the use of a mathematical model (i.e., the Rasch model for person measurement) for scaling items along a continuum of difficulty. The mathematical model and associated item difficulty values will serve as the basis for construction of a clinically useful computerized, adaptive test of speech recognition ability known as the Speech Sound Pattern Discrimination Test (Bochner, J., Garrison, W., Palmer, L., MacKenzie, D., & Braveman, A., 1997).

Acknowledgments
The research reported in this article was supported with a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The authors are most grateful for the valuable support and assistance provided by Liz Laczi. We also want to acknowledge the contributions of Sue Roberts, Ken Johnson, and Jim Orr.
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