Explaining Discrepancies Between the Digit Triplet Speech-in-Noise Test Score and Self-Reported Hearing Problems in Older Adults Purpose The purpose of this study is to determine which demographic, health-related, mood, personality, or social factors predict discrepancies between older adults' functional speech-in-noise test result and their self-reported hearing problems. Method Data of 1,061 respondents from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used (ages ranged from 57 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 17, 2018
Explaining Discrepancies Between the Digit Triplet Speech-in-Noise Test Score and Self-Reported Hearing Problems in Older Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marieke Pronk
    Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Section Ear & Hearing, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands
  • Dorly J. H. Deeg
    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands
  • Sophia E. Kramer
    Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Section Ear & Hearing, Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands
  • 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 Marieke Pronk: m.pronk@vumc.nl
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Jennifer Lentz
    Editor: Jennifer Lentz×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 17, 2018
Explaining Discrepancies Between the Digit Triplet Speech-in-Noise Test Score and Self-Reported Hearing Problems in Older Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 986-999. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-17-0124
History: Received April 10, 2017 , Revised August 29, 2017 , Accepted December 28, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2018, Vol. 61, 986-999. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-17-0124
History: Received April 10, 2017; Revised August 29, 2017; Accepted December 28, 2017

Purpose The purpose of this study is to determine which demographic, health-related, mood, personality, or social factors predict discrepancies between older adults' functional speech-in-noise test result and their self-reported hearing problems.

Method Data of 1,061 respondents from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used (ages ranged from 57 to 95 years). Functional hearing problems were measured using a digit triplet speech-in-noise test. Five questions were used to assess self-reported hearing problems. Scores of both hearing measures were dichotomized. Two discrepancy outcomes were created: (a) being unaware: those with functional but without self-reported problems (reference is aware: those with functional and self-reported problems); (b) reporting false complaints: those without functional but with self-reported problems (reference is well: those without functional and self-reported hearing problems). Two multivariable prediction models (logistic regression) were built with 19 candidate predictors. The speech reception threshold in noise was kept (forced) as a predictor in both models.

Results Persons with higher self-efficacy (to initiate behavior) and higher self-esteem had a higher odds to being unaware than persons with lower self-efficacy scores (odds ratio [OR] = 1.13 and 1.11, respectively). Women had a higher odds than men (OR = 1.47). Persons with more chronic diseases and persons with worse (i.e., higher) speech-in-noise reception thresholds in noise had a lower odds to being unaware (OR = 0.85 and 0.91, respectively) than persons with less diseases and better thresholds, respectively. A higher odds to reporting false complaints was predicted by more depressive symptoms (OR = 1.06), more chronic diseases (OR = 1.21), and a larger social network (OR = 1.02). Persons with higher self-efficacy (to complete behavior) had a lower odds (OR = 0.86), whereas persons with higher self-esteem had a higher odds to report false complaints (OR = 1.21). The explained variance of both prediction models was small (Nagelkerke R 2 = .11 for the unaware model, and .10 for the false complaints model).

Conclusions The findings suggest that a small proportion of the discrepancies between older individuals' results on a speech-in-noise screening test and their self-reports of hearing problems can be explained by the unique context of these individuals. The likelihood of discrepancies partly depends on a person's health (chronic diseases), demographics (gender), personality (self-efficacy to initiate behavior and to persist in adversity, self-esteem), mood (depressive symptoms), and social situation (social network size). Implications are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study was financially supported by the Oticon Foundation, Denmark (case no. 12-0608). The study was based on data collected in the context of the LASA, which is funded largely by the Dutch Ministry of Welfare, Health and Sports.
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