Test-Retest Reliability of Low-Level Evoked Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions

Stuart, Andrew; Passmore, Amy L.; Culbertson, Deborah S.; Jones, Sherri M.
June 2009
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Jun2009, Vol. 52 Issue 3, p671
Academic Journal
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine test-retest reliability of low-level evoked distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) as a function of L1, L2 level; f2 frequency; and test condition. A predictive relationship between these variables and the presence/absence of DPOAE responses was also examined. Method: Sixteen normal-hearing young adults participated. DPOAEs were evoked to 12 tones with f2 frequencies ranging from 1500 Hz to 7546 Hz at 4 L2 levels between 45 dB SPL and 30 dB SPL. Four test conditions were employed: (a) initial test, (b) retest without probe removal, (c) retest with probe reinsertion, and (d) retest with probe reinsertion by a second tester. Results: L1, L2 level and f2 frequency were statistically significant (p < .0001) predictors of a DPOAE response (i.e., the presence of a DPOAE response was more likely to be observed at higher L1, L2 levels and lower f2 frequencies regardless of test condition). DPOAE levels were significantly affected by L1, L2 level and f2 frequency (p < .0001) but not by test condition. Intra- and intertester test-retest differences were not significantly different. Conclusions: The prevalence of missing responses coupled with large intersubject variability and intrasubject test-retest variability are a detriment to the clinical utility of DPOAEs evoked with low-level stimuli.


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