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Br J Audiol. 1997 Jun;31(3):153-64.

Normal and hearing-impaired word recognition scores for monosyllabic words in quiet and noise.

Author information

1
Department of Communicative Disorders, California State University, Long Beach 90840, USA.

Abstract

The effects of noise on word recognition scores were assessed with normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subjects. Fifty-one normal-hearing subjects were tested at 50 dB HL using signal-to-noise ratios (S/Ns) of 5, 10, and 15 dB. Thirty subjects with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing losses were tested in quiet and in noise at S/Ns of 10 dB and 15 dB. Monosyllabic words in a Multitalker Noise were selected for testing. Mean scores for the normal-hearing subjects were 45% at the 5 dB S/N, 74% at the 10 dB S/N, and 87% at the 15 dB S/N. For the hearing-impaired subjects, scores were 85% in quiet, 60% at the 15 dB S/N, and 40% at the 10 dB S/N. These results suggest that background noise which is mildly disruptive for normal hearing subjects can be highly disruptive to hearing-impaired subjects. Moreover, these findings indicate that subjects with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss require a more favourable S/N than normal listeners to achieve comparable word recognition scores. Test-retest differences for word recognition scores revealed variability that agreed closely with predictions based on the binomial distribution for both groups of subjects. Speech-in-noise abilities must be measured directly because regression equations revealed that speech-in-noise scores cannot be predicted accurately from either puretone thresholds or speech-in-quiet scores. Word recognition functions are presented from several hearing-impaired subjects and demonstrate the value of testing in noise.

PMID:
9276098
DOI:
10.3109/03005364000000018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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