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Computer-based noise desensitization training (Kumar et al., 2021)

posted on 2021-05-11, 17:19 authored by Prawin Kumar, Niraj Kumar Singh, Reesha Oovattil Hussain
Purpose: Auditory training is known to improve the speech-perception-in-noise (SPIN) skills in children with auditory processing disorders (APDs); however, conventional non–computer-based trainings are dreary and nonmotivating. This study intended to develop a computer-based noise desensitization training module in Indian English and test the efficacy of the same in children with APD having SPIN deficits. There are no such modules available at present to be used in Indian children.
Method: The module incorporated words-in-noise training, with monosyllables and trisyllables as target words in the presence of speech-shaped noise as well as multitalker babble at different signal-to-noise ratios ranging from +20 to −4 dB SNR. The study included 20 children with SPIN deficits diagnosed with APD and who were recruited randomly to the experimental group who received the training (n = 10; Mage = 11.1 years) and to the control group who did not receive any training (n = 10; Mage = 11.4 years). The outcome measures included behavioral measures and electrophysiological measures (auditory long latency responses for speech in quiet and noise).
Results: Compared to children in the control group, children in the experimental group exhibited improvements in the SPIN scores as well as temporal processing measures after training. Dichotic consonant–vowel tests and auditory memory and sequencing tests did not yield significant improvement post training. Also, auditory long latency responses in quiet and noise revealed significant reduction in the amplitudes after training. No significant difference was noted in the latencies of auditory long latency responses post training. Control group participants did not show any significant difference in any of the measures between the initial and follow-up evaluations.
Conclusions: The developed training module was successful in fetching improvements in behavioral and electrophysiological measures. It would be a great addition to the evidence-based rehabilitation support inventory for children with SPIN deficits in India.

Supplemental Material S1. Bankson Language Screening test was used to screen for any language deficit before recruiting to the study. The test assessed psycholinguistic as well as perceptual skills. The test involves 17 subtests under 5 broad subcategories. The test results of the participants for each subtest fitted the age specific normative. The total score for the test was also taken into consideration. Maximum possible total score is 153. Individual scores of all the participants for all the subcategories are given in table below. Early Reading Skills test was used to screen the participants for any major reading deficits before recruiting to the study. It includes six subcategories as given in the table. Each participant scored within the age-specific normative in each subcategory. Individual scores of all the participants for all the sub-categories are given in table below. Modified Mini-Mental State Examination was done to screen participants for any major cognitive impairment. All the participants scored scores within the age-specific normative.

Supplemental Material S2. Sample words from the word pool (monosyllables and trisyllables) utilized in the training material with their options/distractors.

Supplemental Material S3. List of complaints reported by teachers, participants, and parents in terms of the listening skills of the participants in the presence of background noise.

Supplemental Material S4. APD diagnostic test profile of the participants in the clinical groups (experimental and control group).

Supplemental Material S5. Summary of the feedback obtained from teachers, participants and parents after 1 month of cessation of the training on the listening skills in noise of the study participants. The number of participants on whom each feedback was obtained is also given.

Kumar, P., Singh, N. K., & Hussain, R. O. (2021). Efficacy of computer-based noise desensitization training in children with speech-in-noise deficits. American Journal of Audiology. Advance online publication.


This article is an outcome of the project titled “Efficacy of Computer Based Training Module on Auditory and Cognitive Skills in Children With Central Auditory Processing Disorders” funded by Cognitive Science Research Initiative, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Funding was procured by first author.