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Speech Recognition in Noise in Single-Sided Deaf Cochlear Implant Recipients Using Digital Remote Wireless Microphone Technology
09 April 2018
29 May 2018
25 May 2020 (online)
Previous research in cochlear implant (CI) recipients with bilateral severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss showed improvements in speech recognition in noise using remote wireless microphone systems. However, to our knowledge, no previous studies have addressed the benefit of these systems in CI recipients with single-sided deafness.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential improvement in speech recognition in noise for distant speakers in single-sided deaf (SSD) CI recipients obtained using the digital remote wireless microphone system, Roger. In addition, we evaluated the potential benefit in normal hearing (NH) participants gained by applying this system.
Speech recognition in noise for a distant speaker in different conditions with and without Roger was evaluated with a two-way repeated-measures design in each group, SSD CI recipients, and NH participants. Post hoc analyses were conducted using pairwise comparison t-tests with Bonferroni correction.
Eleven adult SSD participants aided with CIs and eleven adult NH participants were included in this study.
Data Collection and Analysis:
All participants were assessed in 15 test conditions (5 listening conditions × 3 noise levels) each. The listening conditions for SSD CI recipients included the following: (I) only NH ear and CI turned off, (II) NH ear and CI (turned on), (III) NH ear and CI with Roger 14, (IV) NH ear with Roger Focus and CI, and (V) NH ear with Roger Focus and CI with Roger 14. For the NH participants, five corresponding listening conditions were chosen: (I) only better ear and weaker ear masked, (II) both ears, (III) better ear and weaker ear with Roger Focus, (IV) better ear with Roger Focus and weaker ear, and (V) both ears with Roger Focus. The speech level was fixed at 65 dB(A) at 1 meter from the speech-presenting loudspeaker, yielding a speech level of 56.5 dB(A) at the recipient's head. Noise levels were 55, 65, and 75 dB(A). Digitally altered noise recorded in school classrooms was used as competing noise. Speech recognition was measured in percent correct using the Oldenburg sentence test.
In SSD CI recipients, a significant improvement in speech recognition was found for all listening conditions with Roger (III, IV, and V) versus all no-Roger conditions (I and II) at the higher noise levels (65 and 75 dB[A]). NH participants significantly benefited from the application of Roger in noise for higher levels, too. In both groups, no significant difference was detected between any of the different listening conditions at 55 dB(A) competing noise. There was also no significant difference between any of the Roger conditions III, IV, and V across all noise levels.
The application of the advanced remote wireless microphone system, Roger, in SSD CI recipients provided significant benefits in speech recognition for distant speakers at higher noise levels. In NH participants, the application of Roger also produced a significant benefit in speech recognition in noise.
Key Wordscochlear implant - remote wireless microphone system - single-sided deafness - speech recognition in noise
The study was supported by Phonak Communications AG (Murten, Switzerland). The funds were used for the equipment, remuneration of two research students (F. Schmid and A. Huber) and the reimbursement of participants’ travel costs. The other authors of this manuscript did not receive any monetary compensation for this study.
Parts of the paper were presented orally at the 13th EFAS Congress, Interlaken, Switzerland, June 7–10, 2017.
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