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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Vol. 40 No. 3, May/June 2003
Pages 253 — 264

Reliability of computer-automated hearing thresholds in cochlear-impaired listeners using ER-4B Canal Phone Earphones
James A. Henry, PhD; Christopher L. Flick, BS; Alison Gilbert, MS; Roger M. Ellingson, MS;
Stephen A. Fausti, PhD
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR), VA Medical Center, Portland, OR; Department of Otolaryngology, Oregon Health
and Science University, Portland, OR; VA Audiology Clinic, VA Medical Center, Portland, OR
Abstract — This paper describes the second phase of a study to determine test-retest reliability of hearing thresholds using a computer-automated technique with ER-4B Canal Phone insert earphones. The first phase documented reliable hearing thresholds in 20 normal-hearing individuals. For this second phase, 20 individuals with cochlear hearing loss completed the same testing protocol as for phase one. During each of two sessions, hearing thresholds were obtained in one-third octave steps at 500 Hz to 16,000 Hz. The octave frequencies were immediately retested, followed by ear-tip reinsertion and further retesting at octave frequencies. Both groups showed overall good threshold reliability, with observable differences between groups. First, repeated testing resulted in improved hearing thresholds for the normal-hearing group, but not for the cochlear-loss group. Second, the normal-hearing group showed overall better response reliability, both within and between sessions, than the cochlear-loss group. These differences were small but consistent.
Key words: auditory threshold, hearing, reliability of results.

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