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Trends Amplif. 2002 Sep;6(3):81-129. doi: 10.1177/108471380200600302.

Methods and applications of the audibility index in hearing aid selection and fitting.

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Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
National Acoustic Laboratories, 126 Greville Street, Chatswood, NSW 2067, Australia.


During the first half of the 20th century, communications engineers at Bell Telephone Laboratories developed the articulation model for predicting speech intelligibility transmitted through different telecommunication devices under varying electroacoustic conditions. The profession of audiology adopted this model and its quantitative aspects, known as the Articulation Index and Speech Intelligibility Index, and applied these indices to the prediction of unaided and aided speech intelligibility in hearing-impaired listeners. Over time, the calculation methods of these indices-referred to collectively in this paper as the Audibility Index-have been continually refined and simplified for clinical use. This article provides (1) an overview of the basic principles and the calculation methods of the Audibility Index, the Speech Transmission Index and related indices, as well as the Speech Recognition Sensitivity Model, (2) a review of the literature on using the Audibility Index to predict speech intelligibility of hearing-impaired listeners, (3) a review of the literature on the applicability of the Audibility Index to the selection and fitting of hearing aids, and (4) a discussion of future scientific needs and clinical applications of the Audibility Index.

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