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Volume 41 Number 2, March/April 2004
    Pages 121  — 138


Abstract - Comparison of manual and computer-automated procedures for tinnitus pitch-matching

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, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR; Department of Otolaryngology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR
Abstract — Clinical assessment of tinnitus usually includes pitch-matching between the tinnitus and a pure tone. Although such testing is performed routinely, response reliability has not been demonstrated yet. The present study continues a series of studies designed to develop automated methodology for quantifying tinnitus perceptual characteristics. Three methods for tinnitus pitch-matching were performed in a group of 42 subjects. Two methods were computer-automated (Binary and Subject-Guided) and the third method was a traditional manual technique. Each method provided excellent response reliability for about half of the subjects. The most reliable subjects, however, differed widely between the different methods. Each subject provided a total of 14 pitch matches using the three different methods. Analyses based on each subject's total of 14 pitch matches revealed the range of pitch matches for each subject. About half of the subjects selected pitch matches over a range of 2 1/3 octaves. Results of this study suggest that specifying the range of tinnitus pitch matches rather than attempting to identify a single pitch match may be more appropriate.
Key words: hearing disorders, pitch perception, reliability of results, tinnitus.

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