J Am Acad Audiol 2012; 23(10): 789-806
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.23.10.5
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2012) American Academy of Audiology

Subjective and Objective Outcomes from New BiCROS Technology in a Veteran Sample

Victoria A. Williams
Rachel A. McArdle
Theresa H. Chisolm
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Publication History

Publication Date:
06 August 2020 (online)

Background: Patients with single-sided deafness (SSD), where one ear has an unaidable hearing loss and the other ear has normal or aidable hearing, often complain of difficulties understanding speech and localizing sound sources, and report a higher self-perceived hearing disability. Patients with SSD may benefit from using contralateral routing of signal (CROS) or bilateral contralateral routing of the signal (BiCROS) amplification. Dissatisfaction of previously available (Bi)CROS devices has been reported, such as, interfering transmissions, low-fidelity sound quality, poor “user-friendly” set-up, and a bulky and cosmetically cumbersome appearance.

Purpose: Recent advances in hearing aid technology have improved (Bi)CROS hearing aids; however, these devices have not been experimentally evaluated. We hypothesized that newer technology with reports of improved digital signal processing, wireless transmission, and physical design would be as good, or better than, our participants' previous-generation BiCROS systems.

Research Design: A within-subjects, pretest-posttest design was executed.

Study Sample: Thirty-nine veterans (one female, 38 males; mean age = 74 yr, range = 49–85 yr) from the Audiology Section of the Bay Pines Veterans Affair Healthcare System participated. All participants were previously experienced BiCROS hearing aid users with varying degrees of sensorinerual hearing impairment in their better ear.

Intervention: Participants were provided at least 4 wk of consistent use with the new BiCROS.

Data Collection and Analyses: Participants completed three research visits. At Visit 1, with their previous BiCROS, and at Visit 3, with their new BiCROS, the following objective and subjective measures were obtained: (1) soundfield speech-in-noise testing using the Words-In-Noise (WIN) test; (2) speech, spatial, and qualities of the hearing scale (SSQ) questionnaire; (3) selected questions from the MarkeTrak questionnaire; and, (4) three open-ended questions. Data were analyzed using parametric and nonparametric statistics.

Results: Overall, the objective (WIN) and subjective (SSQ, MarkeTrak, and open-ended questions) measures indicated that the new BiCROS provided better outcomes than the previous BiCROS system. In addition, an overlap of favorable results was seen across measures.

Conclusions: Of the 39 participants, 95% reported improvements with the new BiCROS and chose to utilize the device regularly. The favorable objective and subjective outcomes indicate that the new BiCROS system is as good, or better than, what was previously utilized by our sample of veterans.