Send to

Choose Destination
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

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


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center