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Int J Audiol. 2013 Jun;52(6):377-84. doi: 10.3109/14992027.2013.769064. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Test-retest reliability of the Toy Discrimination Test with a masker of noise or babble in children with hearing impairment.

Author information

  • 1Ear Institute, University College London, London, UK. r.lovett@ucl.ac.uk



The Toy Discrimination Test measures children's ability to discriminate spoken words. Previous assessments of reliability tested children with normal hearing or mild hearing impairment, and most studies used a version of the test without a masking sound. We assessed test-retest reliability for children with hearing impairment using maskers of broadband noise and two-talker babble.


Stimuli were presented from a loudspeaker. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was varied adaptively to estimate the speech-reception threshold (SRT) corresponding to 70.7% correct performance. Participants completed each masked condition twice.


Fifty-five children with permanent hearing impairment participated, aged 3.0 to 6.3 years. Thirty-four children used acoustic hearing aids; 21 children used cochlear implants.


For the noise masker, the within-subject standard deviation of SRTs was 2.4 dB, and the correlation between first and second SRT was + 0.73. For the babble masker, corresponding values were 2.7 dB and + 0.60. Reliability was similar for children with hearing aids and children with cochlear implants.


The results can inform the interpretation of scores from individual children. If a child completes a condition twice in different listening situations (e.g. aided and unaided), a difference between scores ≥ 7.5 dB would be statistically significant (p <.05).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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