Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids: Correlation Between Pure-Tone Thresholds and Outcome in Three User Groups

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate correlations between preoperative hearing thresholds and postoperative aided thresholds and speech understanding of users of Bone-anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA). Such correlations may be useful to estimate the postoperative outcome with BAHA from preoperative data.

Study Design:

Retrospective case review.

Setting:

Tertiary referral center.

Patients:

Ninety-two adult unilaterally implanted BAHA users in 3 groups: (A) 24 subjects with a unilateral conductive hearing loss, (B) 38 subjects with a bilateral conductive hearing loss, and (C) 30 subjects with single-sided deafness.

Interventions:

Preoperative air-conduction and bone-conduction thresholds and 3-month postoperative aided and unaided sound-field thresholds as well as speech understanding using German 2-digit numbers and monosyllabic words were measured and analyzed.

Main Outcome Measures:

Correlation between preoperative air-conduction and bone-conduction thresholds of the better and of the poorer ear and postoperative aided thresholds as well as correlations between gain in sound-field threshold and gain in speech understanding.

Results:

Aided postoperative sound-field thresholds correlate best with BC threshold of the better ear (correlation coefficients, r2 = 0.237 to 0.419, p = 0.0006 to 0.0064, depending on the group of subjects). Improvements in sound-field threshold correspond to improvements in speech understanding.

Conclusion:

When estimating expected postoperative aided sound-field thresholds of BAHA users from preoperative hearing thresholds, the BC threshold of the better ear should be used. For the patient groups considered, speech understanding in quiet can be estimated from the improvement in sound-field thresholds.

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