Clinical Applications for Time-Compressed Speech Tests

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier:
First received: August 31, 2006
Last updated: October 3, 2014
Last verified: October 2014

The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of age-related cognitive changes on hearing aid benefit based on hearing aid compression time constants.

The hypothesis is that people with poor working memory skills will benefit from slow time constants in hearing aid compression while those with good working memory skills will be able to benefit from more sophisticated compression algorithms with rapid time constants.

Condition Intervention
Hearing Loss
Procedure: Audiological Evaluation

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Clinical Applications for Time-Compressed Speech Tests

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Ability to understand speech in noise background [ Time Frame: one year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 78
Study Start Date: September 2006
Study Completion Date: December 2011
Primary Completion Date: December 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Arm 1
Study performance on cognitive and hearing tests
Procedure: Audiological Evaluation
Tests of hearing, cognition, and speech perception

Detailed Description:

Recent research has shown the relevance of cognitive function in hearing aid evaluation and the sensitivity of the aging auditory system to temporal distortions. The proposed investigation will examine the interaction of working memory and hearing aid compression method on speech recognition in background competition for older listeners. This interaction will be investigated for the following three forms of background competition:

  1. Competition from continuous speech-shaped noise.
  2. Competition from speech-modulated noise.
  3. Competition from a single interfering talker.

The goals of the study will be accomplished in two phases. In the first phase, 160 adults aged 50 through 75 years will be evaluated on a battery of tests to determine their cognitive capacity, time-compressed speech scores and their candidacy for inclusion in the second phase of the study. At the conclusion of this phase of testing, the participants will be divided into three groups:

  1. subjects with TCS test scores in the highest quartile (the HIGH group)
  2. subjects with TCS test scores in the lowest quartile (the LOW group)
  3. the remaining listeners

The second phase of the experiment will include listeners from the HIGH and LOW groups only. These subjects will be evaluated with respect to their speech recognition ability for three types of interference (steady-state noise, speech-modulated noise, single interfering talker). The HINT test (Nilsson, Soli, & Sumida, 1995; Nilsson et al., 1994) will be used to obtain the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) at 50% recognition for the three masking conditions for each of three types of amplification:

  1. one- channel linear amplification (LINEAR) with frequency shaping
  2. two-channel wide dynamic range compression with fast time constants (FAST)
  3. two-channel wide dynamic range compression with slow time constants (SLOW) Listener groups will be compared across hearing aid conditions and across background interference conditions.

Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years to 75 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Participants will be 50 to 75 years old.
  • Hearing loss will be limited to 40 dB HL from 250 Hz through 1000 Hz, and to 60 dB HL through 4000 Hz.
  • Hearing loss must be greater than 25 dB at two or more frequencies from 250 to 4000 Hz.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • None of the participants will be current or past hearing aid users; all will be free of ear disease.
  • Participants with conductive hearing losses, defined as air-bone gap greater than 15 dB, will be excluded.
  • The audiometric battery with acoustic reflex thresholds and decay measurements will be used to exclude anyone with evidence of a central disorder or a pathology other than a sensorineural loss. Those potential participants will be referred to a medical professional.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00371839

Sponsors and Collaborators
Principal Investigator: Marjorie R. Leek, PhD VA Loma Linda Healthcare System, Loma Linda, CA
  More Information

Additional Information:
No publications provided

Responsible Party: Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier: NCT00371839     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: C4338-R
Study First Received: August 31, 2006
Last Updated: October 3, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:
Hearing Loss
Hearing Aids
Rehabilitation of hearing impaired

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Hearing Loss
Hearing Disorders
Ear Diseases
Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases
Sensation Disorders
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on October 16, 2014