Manufacturer predicted and measured REAR values in adult hearing aid fitting: accuracy and clinical usefulness

Int J Audiol. 2005 May;44(5):293-301. doi: 10.1080/14992020500057830.

Abstract

Audiologists may fit hearing aids using real-ear aided response (REAR) values predicted by manufacturer's fitting software, rather than actual measured REARs. This study examined how well one manufacturer's software was able to predict REARs for a DSP behind-the-ear product in 41 adults (N = 79 ears) under four conditions (two hearing loss configurations and two inputs). Results showed that for all ears tested, measured REAR values were significantly different from predicted for most of the audiometric frequencies for all four test conditions. Discrepancies between measured and predicted REAR values were greater in males' ears than females'. Few ears' REAR values (< or = 12%) were judged to be clinically similar to predicted. Results suggest audiologists should consider using individual real-ear measures in adult hearing aid fittings until manufacturer software is shown to accurately predict real-ear hearing aid performance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Ear Canal / physiology
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Hearing Aids*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Fitting
  • Speech Perception*
  • Speech Reception Threshold Test
  • Treatment Outcome