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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2012 Oct;55(5):1373-86. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0358). Epub 2012 Mar 12.

The effect of technology and testing environment on speech perception using telehealth with cochlear implant recipients.

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Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE, USA.



In this study, the authors evaluated the effect of remote system and acoustic environment on speech perception via telehealth with cochlear implant recipients.


Speech perception was measured in quiet and in noise. Systems evaluated were Polycom visual concert (PVC) and a hybrid presentation system (HPS). Each system was evaluated in a sound-treated booth and in a quiet office.


For speech in quiet, there was a significant effect of environment, with better performance in the sound-treated booth than in the office; there was no effect of system (PVC or HPS). Speech in noise revealed a significant interaction between environment and system. Subjects' performance was poorer for PVC in the office, whereas performance in the sound-treated booth was not significantly different for the two systems. Results from the current study were compared to results for the same group of subjects from an earlier study; these results suggested that poorer performance at remote sites in the previous study was primarily due to environment, not system.


Speech perception was best when evaluated in a sound-treated booth. HPS was superior for speech in noise in a reverberant environment. Future research should focus on modifications to non-sound-treated environments for telehealth service delivery in rural areas.

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