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Auditory–cognitive: HA acclimatization in SNHL (Megha & Maruthy, 2019)

posted on 2019-08-28, 17:16 authored by Megha, Sandeep Maruthy
Purpose: The study aimed to investigate the underlying mechanisms of perceived benefit of hearing aid acclimatization. Specifically, measures in the auditory and cognitive domain were tapped to investigate its relationship with the perceived benefit.
Method: Twenty-six individuals with sensorineural hearing loss served as participants for the study. The perceived benefit of hearing aid use was assessed using the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ; Gatehouse & Noble, 2004). Signal-to-noise ratio-50 (SNR-50) and acceptable noise levels were the measures in auditory domain, whereas working memory and listening effort (LE) were the measures in cognitive domain. All the measures were tracked over a span of 2 months of hearing aid use to determine the benefits of hearing aid acclimatization.
Results: The SSQ showed improvements from baseline to 2nd month of hearing aid use. The mean improvement in the SNR-50 scores was 3.19 dB from the baseline. Acceptable noise levels and working memory did not change with hearing aid use. LE showed improvements in quiet but not in noise. The improvements in the SSQ were found to relate with the improvements in SNR-50.
Conclusions: The study indicated a significant perceived benefit with hearing aid acclimatization, and the underlying mechanism appears to be the signal-to-noise ratio gain. The findings of LE indicated reduced LE, thereby suggesting lesser cognitive load with hearing aid acclimatization. In addition, the individuals who performed poorer in the baseline measurement showed greater perceived benefit with hearing aid acclimatization.

Supplemental Material S1. Individual participant scores of Speech Spatial Qualities questionnaire, SNR-50 and Acceptable noise levels across baseline session, 1m, and 2m session. The scores have been depicted with reference to their baseline scores arranged in ascending order.

Supplemental Material S2. Individual participant scores of Listening effort primary task in quiet and noise, secondary task in quiet and noise and working memory across baseline session, 1m and 2m session. The scores have been depicted with reference to their baseline scores arranged in ascending order.

Megha, & Maruthy, S. (2019). Auditory and cognitive attributes of hearing aid acclimatization in indivuduals with sensorineural hearing loss. American Journal of Audiology, 28, 460–470.

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Celebrating Fifty Years of Science and Practice With the Indian Speech and Hearing Association.