BACKGROUND: Outcome measures can be used to improve the quality of the rehabilitation by identifying and understanding which variables influence the outcome. This information can be used to improve outcomes for clients. In clinical practice, pure-tone audiometry, speech reception thresholds (SRTs), and speech discrimination scores (SDSs) in quiet or in noise are common assessments made prior to hearing aid (HA) fittings. It is not known whether SRT and SDS in quiet relate to HA outcome measured with the International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids (IOI-HA). PURPOSE: The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between pure-tone average (PTA), SRT, and SDS in quiet and IOI-HA in both first-time and experienced HA users. RESEARCH DESIGN: SRT and SDS were measured in a sample of HA users who also responded to the IOI-HA. STUDY SAMPLE: Fifty-eight Danish-speaking adult HA users. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: The psychometric properties were evaluated and compared to previous studies using the IOI-HA. The associations and differences between the outcome scores and a number of descriptive variables (age, gender, fitted monaurally/binaurally with HA, first-time/experienced HA users, years of HA use, time since last HA fitting, best ear PTA, best ear SRT, or best ear SDS) were examined. A multiple forward stepwise regression analysis was conducted using scores on the separate IOI-HA items, the global score, and scores on the introspection and interaction subscales as dependent variables to examine whether the descriptive variables could predict these outcome measures. RESULTS: Scores on single IOI-HA items, the global score, and scores on the introspection (items 1, 2, 4, and 7) and interaction (items 3, 5, and 6) subscales closely resemble those previously reported. Multiple regression analysis showed that the best ear SDS predicts about 18-19% of the outcome on items 3 and 5 separately, and about 16% on the interaction subscale (sum of items 3, 5, and 6) CONCLUSIONS: The best ears SDS explains some of the variance displayed in the IOI-HA global score and the interaction subscale. The relation between SDS and IOI-HA suggests that a poor unaided SDS might in itself be a limiting factor for the HA rehabilitation efficacy and hence the IOI-HA outcome. The clinician could use this information to align the user's HA expectations to what is within possible reach.
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 2014, Vol 25, Issue 2, p. 154-163