Project Title

Comparisons of the VA and Auditec Versions of NU-6 on Older Listeners with SNHL

Author Names

Cayce GriffinFollow

Authors' Affiliations

Cayce Griffin, Department of Audiology, College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, East Tennessee State, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2019 2:30 PM

Poster Number

81

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Audiology & Speech Pathology

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Richard Wilson

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Project's Category

Rehabilitation or Therapy, Ear Diseases, Public Health

Abstract Text

People with sensorineural hearing loss historically have difficulties understanding speech. For this reason, speech- or word-recognition abilities typically are assessed in an audiologic evaluation. The Northwestern University Auditory Test No. 6 (NU-6) is often used to evaluate this ability. One of the main variables in understanding speech is the speaker of the materials. It is well established that different speakers produce speech that is differentially intelligible. Some speakers are easier to understand than other speakers. The purpose of this study was to determine the word–recognition difference between the Auditec and VA speaker versions of NU-6 by older listeners with sensorineural hearing loss (OHL). Young adults with normal hearing (YNH) exhibit slightly better recognition performance on the Auditec version than on the VA version. A direct comparison of these two versions of NU-6 using the same older listeners for both materials has not been made. This study was conducted in quiet using a simple factorial design. Thirty-six OHL listeners participated (M = 71.6 years). Pure-tone thresholds were obtained on the test ear using a computerized protocol, Automated Method for Testing Auditory Sensitivity (AMTAS). Each participant was presented randomly 1200 NU-6 words (2 speakers by 6 levels by 100 words) over three sessions. Presentation levels of -2- to 38-dB SL in 8-dB steps for the recorded materials were referenced to the three-frequency, pure-tone average. In each of 3, 1-hour sessions, 25-practice items were given followed by 400 of the 1200 test words. A questionnaire assessed the perceived level of difficulty of each speaker. Overall, recognition performance was better on the Auditec version (68.7%) than on the VA (58.2%) version. This better performance on the Auditec version was observed at each presentation level. Of the 200 NU-6 words, the Auditec version produced better overall performances on 84.3%. The differences were maximized at the 50% point: 5.9-dB SL (Auditec) and 11.7-dB SL (VA). Only at the two highest presentation levels (30- and 38-dB SL) were equivalent performances achieved. Considering the 6 presentation levels of the 200 words, 1200 recognition performances were available, of which better performances were obtained with the Auditec version on 64.3%, with the VA version on 19.5%, and with equal performances on 16.2%. The results are overwhelming that for the conditions used in this study the Auditec version of NU-6 was easier to understand than the VA version. The only similarities between the data from the two speakers were the slopes of the functions at the 50% points, 3.3%/dB (SD = 1.1%/dB) and 3.5%/dB (SD = 1.0%/dB) for the Auditec and VA versions, respectively. The results of the questionnaire revealed that 83.3% of the participants reported that the Auditec version was easier to understand. In a study of YNH listeners using the same experimental paradigm, similar, but smaller, differences were observed between the two versions of NU-6. Overall, the Auditec version of NU-6 was easier to understand than the VA version for reasons ranging from calibration issues to variables that are only speculative about auditory function.

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 2:30 PM

Comparisons of the VA and Auditec Versions of NU-6 on Older Listeners with SNHL

Ballroom

People with sensorineural hearing loss historically have difficulties understanding speech. For this reason, speech- or word-recognition abilities typically are assessed in an audiologic evaluation. The Northwestern University Auditory Test No. 6 (NU-6) is often used to evaluate this ability. One of the main variables in understanding speech is the speaker of the materials. It is well established that different speakers produce speech that is differentially intelligible. Some speakers are easier to understand than other speakers. The purpose of this study was to determine the word–recognition difference between the Auditec and VA speaker versions of NU-6 by older listeners with sensorineural hearing loss (OHL). Young adults with normal hearing (YNH) exhibit slightly better recognition performance on the Auditec version than on the VA version. A direct comparison of these two versions of NU-6 using the same older listeners for both materials has not been made. This study was conducted in quiet using a simple factorial design. Thirty-six OHL listeners participated (M = 71.6 years). Pure-tone thresholds were obtained on the test ear using a computerized protocol, Automated Method for Testing Auditory Sensitivity (AMTAS). Each participant was presented randomly 1200 NU-6 words (2 speakers by 6 levels by 100 words) over three sessions. Presentation levels of -2- to 38-dB SL in 8-dB steps for the recorded materials were referenced to the three-frequency, pure-tone average. In each of 3, 1-hour sessions, 25-practice items were given followed by 400 of the 1200 test words. A questionnaire assessed the perceived level of difficulty of each speaker. Overall, recognition performance was better on the Auditec version (68.7%) than on the VA (58.2%) version. This better performance on the Auditec version was observed at each presentation level. Of the 200 NU-6 words, the Auditec version produced better overall performances on 84.3%. The differences were maximized at the 50% point: 5.9-dB SL (Auditec) and 11.7-dB SL (VA). Only at the two highest presentation levels (30- and 38-dB SL) were equivalent performances achieved. Considering the 6 presentation levels of the 200 words, 1200 recognition performances were available, of which better performances were obtained with the Auditec version on 64.3%, with the VA version on 19.5%, and with equal performances on 16.2%. The results are overwhelming that for the conditions used in this study the Auditec version of NU-6 was easier to understand than the VA version. The only similarities between the data from the two speakers were the slopes of the functions at the 50% points, 3.3%/dB (SD = 1.1%/dB) and 3.5%/dB (SD = 1.0%/dB) for the Auditec and VA versions, respectively. The results of the questionnaire revealed that 83.3% of the participants reported that the Auditec version was easier to understand. In a study of YNH listeners using the same experimental paradigm, similar, but smaller, differences were observed between the two versions of NU-6. Overall, the Auditec version of NU-6 was easier to understand than the VA version for reasons ranging from calibration issues to variables that are only speculative about auditory function.