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Effective application of speech audiometric parameters: Analysis of the recent publication quality
18 April 2018 (online)
Pure-tone audiometry represents the standard measuring instrument to evaluate hearing benefit after interventions. However, speech audiometric data are essential parameters to assess patients' speech reception. In view of the large number of national and international speech audiometric test systems, the AAO-HNS 2012 guidelines (Gurgel 2012) attempt to provide an international standard protocol including a word recognition score at 40dB sensation level or maximum comfortable loudness.
All German and English-speaking studies (published between 2012 and 2016), which include speech audiometric outcome parameters after an intervention (implantable hearing aids, tympanoplasty, stapes surgery, vestibular schwannoma and acute sensorineural hearing loss treatment) were checked for the used speech audiometric measurement and documentation of the main outcome parameters.
In general, 279 interventional studies were analyzed. All series offered a wide range of the used test material and varying sound pressure levels. Studies, which focused on implantable hearing aids, preferred a sound pressure level of 65 dB (40%). However, in series, which analyzed the outcome of vestibular schwannoma or acute sensorineural hearing loss treatment, a statement on the speech audiometric assessment (test material and sound pressure level) was just available in 15% to 30% of all series.
Despite determination of a minimal reporting standard, several recent studies offer a wide range of speech audiometric tests and sound pressure levels. A standardization of the speech audiometric parameters and a strict consideration of a standard reporting protocol in the peer-review process are essential cornerstones to provide high-quality otologic studies.