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J Am Acad Audiol. 2007 Apr;18(4):292-303.

Speech-recognition performance after long-term hearing aid use.

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  • 1Janet E. Shanks, Ph.D., Audiology 126, VA Long Beach Healthcare System, 5901 E. Seventh Street, Long Beach, CA 90822, USA. janet.shanks@va.gov


Larson et al (2000) reported the findings of a multicenter, NIDCDNA clinical trial that compared hearing aid performance for three output limiting circuits in 360 adults with symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss. The current study was undertaken to examine long-term hearing aid benefit in this same group of participants following five to six years of hearing aid use. The speech-recognition portion of the follow-up study enrolled 108 participants from the original study, 85% of whom were current hearing aid users and 15% of whom had not worn hearing aids during the past month (nonusers). Recognition performance in sound field on the NU-6 (quiet at 62 dB SPL) and the CST (quiet at 74 dB SPL and with -3 and 3 dB signal-to-babble ratios [S/B] at 62 and 74 dB SPL) was measured unaided and aided whenever possible. Speech-recognition abilities decreased significantly since the original study. Speech-recognition decrements were observed regardless of the speech materials (NU-6 and CST), test condition (quiet and noise), S/B (-3 and 3 dB), or stimulus level (62 and 74 dB SPL). Despite decreases in speech recognition, hearing aid benefit remained largely unchanged since the original study; aided performance exceeded unaided performance regardless of presentation level or noise condition. As in the original study, the relations among stimulus level, S/B, and speech-recognition performance were complex.

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