Predicting real-life listening abilities in presbyacusic adults: The use and role of auditory supraliminary and cognitive measures in audiological practice
It is well known that many hearing-impaired (HI) people, who seek help from a hearing-aid (HA) audiologist/dispenser, are not satisfied with the speech perception performance achieved with their HAs in everyday life. Assuming that HA fitting is done appropriately, the discrepancy between listening behavior in the laboratory/clinic and that in real-life communication situations must therefore stem from the fact that the tests conducted by the HA audiologist/dispenser are insufficient and/or of poor ecological validity. Three studies were conducted to shed some light on these hypotheses.
First, an online survey of the current practice of speech audiometry in France, where the evaluation of speech intelligibility as part of the audiological assessment is required by law, was designed. Two hundred and ninety-seven HA dispensers completed the questionnaire, providing information about the type and frequency of use of diagnostic and prognostic tests performed during the audiological assessment of adults, including the most common forms of speech audiometry in terms of speech material and background sounds (Rembaud, Fontan, & Füllgrabe, 2017).
Then, two behavioral studies were conducted on 100 older (aged 60-85 years) presbyacousic adults. All had normal cognitive functioning based on MMSE scores and had worn bilateral HAs for at least six months. In addition to the most frequently used tests of speech audiometry (as identified by the online survey), a measure of sensitivity to binaural temporal-fine structure information (i.e., the TFS-AF test; Füllgrabe, Harland, Sęk, & Moore, 2017) and two cognitive tasks, probing respectively working memory and inhibition, were administered. Real-life listening abilities were assessed using the 15iSSQ, a shorter version of the SSQ, composed of 15 items, covering speech perception, spatial hearing, and qualitative and cognitive aspects of hearing (Moulin, Vergne, Gallego, & Micheyl, 2019).
Performances on the different tasks as well as their relationship with the self-report of everyday listening will be discussed in the presentation.
Füllgrabe, C., Harland, A. J., Sęk, A. P., & Moore, B. C. J. (2017). Development of a method for determining binaural sensitivity to temporal fine structure. International Journal of Audiology, 56(12), 926-935.
Moulin, A., Vergne, J., Gallego, S., & Micheyl, C. (2019). A new Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of hearing scale short-form: Factor, cluster, and comparative analyses. Ear and Hearing, 40(4), 938-950.
Rembaud, F., Fontan, L., & Füllgrabe, C. (2017). L’audiométrie vocale en France: état des lieux [Speech audiometry in France: status quo]. Les Cahiers de l'Audition, 6, 22-25.