Validation of the Home Hearing Test™
06. August 2020 (online)
Background: The Home Hearing Test™ (HHT) is an automated pure-tone threshold test that obtains an air-conduction audiogram at five test frequencies. It was developed to provide increased access to hearing testing and support home telehealth programs.
Purpose: The study was conducted as part of an audiology telehealth trial based at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN. Air-conduction audiograms obtained by the HHT were compared to results obtained in the clinic.
Research Design: Prospective, repeated measures.
Study Sample: Twenty-eight participants, aged 44–88 yr (mean = 65) were recruited from the Nashville U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs audiology clinic. Participants were required to have a Windows personal computer in the home and were self-reported to be comfortable with using computers. Two participants had normal hearing and 26 had hearing loss of various severities and configurations.
Data Collection and Analysis: Audiograms were obtained in the audiology clinic by experienced audiologists following standard clinical protocols. Participants were provided with a kit for installing HHT on their home computers. The HHT air-conduction audiogram is obtained with Automated Method for Testing Auditory Sensitivity (AMTAS®), described in previous publications. Threshold pairs (clinic versus HHT) were analyzed by determining distributions of threshold differences and absolute differences. These were compared to distributions of differences between manual threshold pairs obtained by two audiologists and AMTAS® versus manual threshold pairs obtained under laboratory conditions.
Results: Threshold differences (clinic versus HHT) were slightly larger than differences between thresholds obtained by two audiologists and AMTAS® versus manual threshold differences obtained under laboratory conditions. The differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusions: HHT air-conduction audiograms agree well with audiograms obtained in the clinic. HHT is well suited to home telehealth applications and personal use.