Speech intelligibility index for cochlear implant (Lee et al., 2019)

Purpose: Although the speech intelligibility index (SII) has been widely applied in the field of audiology and other related areas, application of this metric to cochlear implants (CIs) has yet to be investigated. In this study, SIIs for CI users were calculated to investigate whether the SII could be an effective tool for predicting speech perception performance in a population with CI.
Method: Fifteen pre- and postlingually deafened adults with CI participated. Speech recognition scores were measured using the AzBio sentence lists. CI users also completed questionnaires and performed psychoacoustic (spectral and temporal resolution) and cognitive function (digit span) tests. Obtained SIIs were compared with predicted SIIs using a transfer function curve. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted on perceptual and demographic predictor variables to investigate the association between these factors and speech perception performance.
Result: Because of the considerably poor hearing and large individual variability in performance, the SII did not predict speech performance for this CI group using the traditional calculation. However, new SII models were developed incorporating predictive factors, which improved the accuracy of SII predictions in listeners with CI.
Conclusion: Conventional SII models are not appropriate for predicting speech perception scores for CI users. Demographic variables (aided audibility and duration of deafness) and perceptual–cognitive skills (gap detection and auditory digit span outcomes) are needed to improve the use of the SII for listeners with CI. Future studies are needed to improve our CI-corrected SII model by considering additional predictive factors.

Supplemental Material S1. Auditory thresholds and speech perception scores obtained from 15 cochlear implant (CI) participants.

Lee, S., Mendel, L. L., & Bidelman, G. M. (2019). Prediction speech recognition using the speech intelligibility index and other variables for cochlear implant users. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62, 1517–1531. https://doi.org/10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-18-0303