ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

5aPP20. Toward a model for clinical evaluation of hearing loss and hearing aids using articulation index.

Zezhang Hou

Aaron R. Thornton

Audiol. Dept., Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles St., Boston, MA 02114

Routine clinical application of the articulation index (AI) has been reported previously [A. R. Thornton et al., ASHA 34, 148 (1992); Z. Hou et al., ASHA 35, 234 (1993); Z. Hou and A. R. Thornton, Ear Hear. 15(2) (1994)]. This paper reports further development of an AI-based clinical model for evaluating hearing loss and hearing aids and for maximizing hearing aid performance across listening conditions. AIs across a range of listening conditions are plotted on a series of two-dimensional graphs to provide visual evaluations of a patient's residual speech ability under each condition with or without a hearing aid. The AIs are integrated to obtain an integrated articulation index (IAI) as a criterion measure for evaluating the overall speech ability across the conditions. The optimal IAI is suggested as a hearing aid prescription method. An audibility improvement index based on the IAI is introduced to evaluate the benefit a patient might gain from using a hearing aid. This model can address loss and amplification requirements in both quiet and noise conditions and provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool for routine clinic applications.