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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 98  |  Page : 7--16

Selected Cognitive Factors Associated with Individual Variability in Clinical Measures of Speech Recognition in Noise Amplified by Fast-Acting Compression Among Hearing Aid Users

Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping; Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Correspondence Address:
Wycliffe K Yumba
Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nah.NAH_59_18

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Objective: Previous work examining speech recognition in more challenging listening environments has revealed a large variability in both persons with normal and hearing impairments. Although this is clinically very important, up to now, no consensus has been reached about which factors may provide better explanation for the existing individual variability in speech recognition ability among hearing aid users, when speech signal is degraded. This study aimed to examine hearing-sensitivity skills and cognitive ability differences between listeners with good and poor speech recognition abilities. Materials and Methods: A total of 195 experienced hearing aid users (33–80 years) were grouped by higher or lower speech recognition ability based on their performance on the Hagerman sentences task in multi-talker babble using fast-acting compression algorithm. They completed a battery of cognitive abilities tests, hearing-in-noise and the auditory thresholds test. Results: The results showed that the two groups did differ significantly overall on cognitive abilities tests like working memory, cognitive processing speed and attentional shifting, but not on the attentional inhibitory test and non-verbal intelligence test. Conclusions: Listeners with poor compared to those with better speech recognition abilities exhibit poorer cognitive abilities, which place them in a disadvantaged position, and /or more susceptible to signal modifications (as a result of fast-acting compression signal processing), resulting in limited benefits from hearing aids strategies. The findings may have implications for hearing aid signal processing strategies selection in rehabilitations.


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