Evaluation of a Telephone Speech-Enhancement Algorithm Among Older Adults With Hearing Loss PurposeIn this study, the authors evaluated a processing algorithm aimed at improving speech recognition via the telephone among older adults with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).MethodThirty older adults with SNHL participated. Speech recognition was measured in quiet using the Modified Rhyme Test (MRT; Kreul et al., 1968) and the Speech Perception ... Research Note
Research Note  |   October 01, 2011
Evaluation of a Telephone Speech-Enhancement Algorithm Among Older Adults With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gayla L. Poling
    The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Kimberly Harhager
    The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Ashok Krishnamurthy
    The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Lawrence L. Feth
    The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Correspondence to Christina M. Roup: roup.2@osu.edu
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Stanley Gelfand
    Associate Editor: Stanley Gelfand×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Research Note   |   October 01, 2011
Evaluation of a Telephone Speech-Enhancement Algorithm Among Older Adults With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2011, Vol. 54, 1477-1483. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0181)
History: Received June 26, 2010 , Revised January 3, 2011 , Accepted February 25, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2011, Vol. 54, 1477-1483. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0181)
History: Received June 26, 2010; Revised January 3, 2011; Accepted February 25, 2011

PurposeIn this study, the authors evaluated a processing algorithm aimed at improving speech recognition via the telephone among older adults with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).

MethodThirty older adults with SNHL participated. Speech recognition was measured in quiet using the Modified Rhyme Test (MRT; Kreul et al., 1968) and the Speech Perception in Noise (SPIN; Bilger et al., 1984) sentences, and in noise using the Quick Speech in Noise (QSIN; Killion et al., 2004) test. Each test was presented via the telephone with and without processing.

ResultsSignificant improvements in recognition performance due to processing were observed for the SPIN and QSIN. The improvement on the QSIN was significantly greater than on the MRT and SPIN, likely because the MRT and SPIN sentences were presented in quiet, whereas the QSIN was presented in noise. Significant improvements in recognition performance were observed for both an offline version and a real-time version of the algorithm relative to the unprocessed condition, although no difference was noted between the 2 versions.

ConclusionsResults indicate that preprocessing the acoustic signal is a viable method of improving speech recognition via the telephone. The algorithm has the potential to benefit older adults with SNHL who struggle to communicate via the telephone with or without hearing aids.

Acknowledgments
Funding for this project was provided by the Franklin County Office on Aging, an Ameritech Faculty Research Grant, a National Institute on Aging Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant, and a Battelle Endowment for Technology and Human Affairs award. Portions of this research were presented at the 1999 and 2000 Acoustical Society of America meetings (Columbus, OH, and Atlanta, GA, respectively) and the 2007 Ohio Audiology Conference (Columbus, OH). We would like to thank FutureCom Technologies (Gahanna, OH) for their contributions to this project. We would also like to thank Evelyn Hoglund for her helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article.
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