Separating Contributions of Hearing, Lexical Knowledge, and Speech Production to Speech-Perception Scores in Children With Hearing Impairments

Paatsch, Louise E.; Blamey, Peter J.; Sarant, Julia Z.; Martin, Lois F. A.; Bow, Catherine P.
August 2004
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Aug2004, Vol. 47 Issue 4, p738
Academic Journal
Open-set word and sentence speech-perception test scores are commonly used as a measure of hearing abilities in children and adults using cochlear implants and/or hearing aids. These tests are usually presented auditorily with a verbal response. In the case of children, scores are typically lower and more variable than for adults with hearing impairments using similar devices. It is difficult to interpret children's speech-perception scores without considering the effects of lexical knowledge and speech-production abilities on their responses. This study postulated a simple mathematical model to describe the effects of hearing, lexical knowledge, and speech production on the perception test scores for monosyllabic words by children with impaired hearing. Thirty-three primary-school children with impaired hearing, fitted with hearing aids and/or cochlear implants, were evaluated using speech-perception, reading-aloud, speech-production, and language measures. These various measures were incorporated in the mathematical model, which revealed that performance in an open-set word-perception test in the auditory-alone mode is strongly dependent on residual hearing levels, lexical knowledge, and speech-production abilities. Further applications of the model provided an estimate of the effect of each component on the overall speech-perception score for each child.


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