Listening Effort, An Overview of App Validation and Testing by the Audiology 4 all Project

Int Tinnitus J. 2024 Mar 21;27(2):97-103. doi: 10.5935/0946-5448.20230016.


Objective: To describe an application's development and validation process that aims to track hearing difficulties in adverse environments (a listening effort application).

Design: 71 subjects were evaluated, divided into two groups: 30 subjects aged between 18 and 30, and 41 subjects aged between 40 and 65. All subjects had European Portuguese as their native language; the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) scored above 24, and all could read and write. All subjects performed the intelligibility test in noise and the test of listening effort. The two tests were randomly applied in the free field in the audiometric cabin and the application.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the results of the two methods (p>0.05). For the group aged between 40 and 65 years old, the ROC curve showed that intelligibility inferior to 68.5% and the number of correct answers lower than 1,5 in the listening effort test are the optimal cut-off for referral to further management. Both tests showed low sensitivity and specificity regarding individuals between 18 and 30 years old, indicating that the application is inappropriate for this age group.

Conclusions: The application is valid and can contribute to the screening and self-awareness of listening difficulties in middle age, with a reduction in the prevalence of dementia soon.

Keywords: Apps; Cognitive Decline; Listening Effort; Self-care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiology*
  • Humans
  • Listening Effort
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Noise / prevention & control
  • Speech Perception*
  • Young Adult