A Comparison of Two Methods for Measuring Listening Effort As Part of an Audiologic Test Battery

Johnson, Jani; Jingjing Xu; Cox, Robyn; Pendergraft, Paul
September 2015
American Journal of Audiology;Sep2015, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p419
Academic Journal
Purpose: We evaluated 2 measures of listening effort (a self-report measure and a word recall measure) regarding their suitability for inclusion in a comprehensive audiologic testing protocol. The relationship between the 2 measures was explored, and both measures were examined with regard to validity, sensitivity, and effect on speech intelligibility performance. Method: Thirty adults with normal hearing participated. Speech intelligibility performance was evaluated at 4 signal-to-noise ratios by using keywords embedded in both high- and low-context sentences. Listening effort was evaluated at set intervals throughout the speech intelligibility task. Results: Results obtained with the 2 measures were consistent with expected changes in listening effort. However, data obtained with the self-report method demonstrated greater sensitivity to these changes. The 2 measures were uncorrelated. Under certain conditions, speech intelligibility performance was more negatively affected when the word recall measure was used. Exploration of additional theoretical and practical considerations supported a conclusion that the self-report measure was preferable for measuring listening effort simultaneously with speech intelligibility. Conclusion: The results of this study provide a rationale for preferring the self-report measure of listening effort over the word recall measure when testing audiologic outcomes.


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