Revisiting auditory profiling: Can cognitive factors improve the prediction of aided speech-in-noise outcome?

Mengfan Wu*, Stine Christiansen, Michal Fereczkowski, Tobias Neher


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Hearing aids (HA) are the most common type of rehabilitation treatment for age-related hearing loss. However, HA users often obtain limited benefit from their devices, particularly in noisy environments, and thus many HA candidates do not use them at all. A possible reason for this could be that current HA fittings are audiogram-based, that is, they neglect supra-threshold factors. In an earlier study, an auditory-profiling method was proposed as a basis for more personalized HA fittings. This method classifies HA users into four profiles that differ in terms of hearing sensitivity and supra-threshold hearing abilities. Previously, HA users belonging to these profiles showed significant differences in terms of speech recognition in noise but not subjective assessments of speech-in-noise (SIN) outcome. Moreover, large individual differences within some profiles were observed. The current study therefore explored if cognitive factors can help explain these differences and improve aided outcome prediction. Thirty-nine older HA users completed sets of auditory and SIN tests as well as two tablet-based cognitive measures (the Corsi block-tapping and trail-making tests). Principal component analyses were applied to extract the dominant sources of variance both within individual tests producing many variables and within the three types of tests. Multiple linear regression analyses performed on the extracted components showed that auditory factors were related to aided speech recognition in noise but not to subjective SIN outcome. Cognitive factors were unrelated to aided SIN outcome. Overall, these findings provide limited support for adding those two cognitive tests to the profiling of HA users.
TidsskriftTrends in Hearing
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 9. aug. 2022


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