A Demonstration of Improved Precision of Word Recognition Scores PurposeThe purpose of this study was to demonstrate improved precision of word recognition scores (WRSs) by increasing list length and analyzing phonemic errors.MethodPure-tone thresholds (frequencies between 0.25 and 8.0 kHz) and WRSs were measured in 3 levels of speech-shaped noise (50, 52, and 54 dB HL) for 24 listeners with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2014
A Demonstration of Improved Precision of Word Recognition Scores
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert S. Schlauch
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Elizabeth S. Anderson
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Christophe Micheyl
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Robert S. Schlauch: schla001@umn.edu
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
  • Associate Editor: Chris Halpin
    Associate Editor: Chris Halpin×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing
Research Article   |   April 01, 2014
A Demonstration of Improved Precision of Word Recognition Scores
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 543-555. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-13-0017
History: Received January 18, 2013 , Revised June 28, 2013 , Accepted July 7, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 543-555. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-13-0017
History: Received January 18, 2013; Revised June 28, 2013; Accepted July 7, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to demonstrate improved precision of word recognition scores (WRSs) by increasing list length and analyzing phonemic errors.

MethodPure-tone thresholds (frequencies between 0.25 and 8.0 kHz) and WRSs were measured in 3 levels of speech-shaped noise (50, 52, and 54 dB HL) for 24 listeners with normal hearing. WRSs were obtained for half-lists and full lists of Northwestern University Test No. 6 (Tillman & Carhart, 1966) words presented at 48 dB HL. A resampling procedure was used to derive dimensionless effect sizes for identifying a change in hearing using the data. This allowed the direct comparison of the magnitude of shifts in WRS (%) and in the average pure-tone threshold (dB), which provided a context for interpreting the WRS.

ResultsWRSs based on a 50-word list analyzed by the percentage of correct phonemes were significantly more sensitive for identifying a change in hearing than the WRSs based on 25-word lists analyzed by percentage of correct words.

ConclusionIncreasing the number of items that contribute to a WRS significantly increased the test's ability to identify a change in hearing. Clinical and research applications could potentially benefit from a more precise word recognition test, the only basic audiologic measure that estimates directly the distortion component of hearing loss and its effect on communication.

Acknowledgment
We thank Edward Carney for developing the software and deriving the 95% confidence intervals for the phoneme analysis used in this study.
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