Validity of hearTest Smartphone-Based Audiometry for Hearing Screening in Workers Exposed to NoiseFunding Ana Paula Corona was supported by the National Council of Technological and Scientific Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico: CNPq – Process n° 429093/2016–0; Edital Universal 2016) and the Pro-Rectory of Research, Creation and Innovation of the Federal University of Bahia (Universidade Federal da Bahia: UFBA, Edital 004/2016, Programa de apoio a Jovens Professores Doutores – Propesq).
Purpose This article investigates the validity of a smartphone-based audiometry for hearing screening to identify hearing loss in workers exposed to noise.
Research Design This is a validation study comparing hearing screening with the hearTest to conventional audiometry. The study population included all workers who attended the Brazilian Social Service of Industry to undergo periodic examinations. Sensitivity, specificity, the Youden index, and positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) for hearing screening obtained by the hearTest were estimated according to three definitions of hearing loss: any threshold greater than 25 dB hearing level (HL), the mean auditory thresholds for 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz greater than 25 dB HL, and the mean thresholds for 3, 4, and 6 kHz greater than 25 dB HL. Note that 95% confidence intervals were calculated for all measurements.
Results A total of 232 workers participated in the study. Hearing screening with the hearTest presented good sensitivity (93.8%), specificity (83.9%), and Youden index (77.7%) values, a NPV (97.2%), and a low PPV (69.0%) for the identification of hearing loss defined as any auditory threshold greater than 25 dB HL. For the other definitions of hearing loss, we observed high specificity, PPV and NPV, as well as low sensitivity and Youden index.
Conclusion The hearTest is an accurate hearing screening tool to identify hearing loss in workers exposed to noise, including those with noise-induced hearing loss, although it does not replace conventional audiometry.
Keywordshearing loss - smartphone - workers - noise-induced hearing loss - sensitivity and specificity
Received: 18 November 2019
Accepted: 22 July 2020
09 December 2020 (online)
© 2020. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.
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