Authors: Abrams HB, Bock K, Irey RL
Title: Can a Remotely Delivered Auditory Training Program Improve Speech-in-Noise Understanding?
Source: American Journal of Audiology 2015 24(3): 333-337
Year: 2015
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 03/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - N

Purpose: The aims of this study were to determine if a remotely delivered, Internet-based auditory training (AT) program improved speech-in-noise understanding and if the number of hours spent engaged in the program influenced postintervention speech-in-noise understanding. Method: Twenty-nine first-time hearing aid users were randomized into an AT group (hearing aids + 3 week remotely delivered, Internet-based auditory training program) or a control group (hearing aids alone). The Hearing in Noise Test (Nilsson, Soli, & Sullivan, 1994) and the Words-in-Noise test (Wilson, 2003) were administered to both groups at baseline + 1 week and immediately at the completion of the 3 weeks of auditory training. Results: Speech-in-noise understanding improved for both groups at the completion of the study; however, there was not a statistically significant difference in postintervention improvement between the AT and control groups. Although the number of hours the participants engaged in the AT program was far fewer than prescribed, time on task influenced the postintervention Words-in-Noise but not Hearing in Noise Test scores. Conclusion: Although remotely delivered, Internet-based AT programs represent an attractive alternative to resourceintensive, clinic-based interventions, their demonstrated efficacy continues to remain a challenge due in part to issues associated with compliance.

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