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Evaluating the Use of an Assistive Listening Device for Communication Efficiency Using the Diapix Task: A Pilot Study

McInerney M.a · Walden P.b
aDepartment of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Queens Campus, Long Island Audiology Consortium, and bDepartment of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Staten Island Campus, St. John's University, Jamaica, N.Y., USA Folia Phoniatr Logop 2013;65:25-31 (DOI:10.1159/000350490)

Abstract

Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the effects of assistive listening device (ALD) use on communication efficiency in groups of elderly adults with and without hearing impairment during a structured language sampling task. The relationship between self-perceived hearing handicap and communication efficiency was also explored. Method: Twenty-two subjects completed measures of hearing sensitivity, perceived hearing handicap, cognition, and a language sample. One half of the hearing-impaired participants and one half of the normal-hearing group were randomly assigned to use an ALD during a structured conversation task with a naïve partner. Results: The Hearing Loss/No ALD group had significantly more breakdowns than the Hearing Loss/With ALD group. Further, the Hearing Loss/With ALD group performed statistically similar to the two groups without hearing loss. For the normal-hearing groups as well as the Hearing Loss/No ALD group, self-perceived hearing handicap was significantly correlated with the number of communication breakdowns. Conclusion: The results lent preliminary support for the use of ALDs in the management of hearing loss. A case for functional assessment of communication was made to better illuminate causes of perceived communication handicap in the aural rehabilitation of elderly persons with hearing impairment.

 

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