Does Language Matter When Using a Graphical Method for Calculating the Speech Intelligibility Index?

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Abstract

Background:

Graphical methods for calculating the speech intelligibility index (SII), such as the count-the-dot audiogram, are useful tools in quantifying how much weighted audibility is restored when amplification is used for individuals with hearing loss. The band-importance function (BIF), which is an important component of the SII, depends on the language. Thus, language may affect the prediction of weighted audibility using the graphical SII.

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to apply language-specific BIFs to develop and compare graphical SIIs for English, Korean, and Mandarin.

Research Design:

The graphical SIIs were developed and compared using a research design that applied and analyzed existing datasets.

Data Collection and Analysis:

Language-specific BIFs and dynamic ranges were used to derive graphical SIIs for English, Korean, and Mandarin. SII predictions were compared by calculating the language-specific predictions for the same audiometric configurations.

Results:

The graphical SIIs for English, Korean, and Mandarin yielded different unaided and aided predictions for the same audiogram configurations.

Conclusions:

A graphical SII helps patients easily understand their weighted audibility for unaided and aided conditions; thus, it is a useful counseling tool in the clinic. The most accurate graphical SII's will, however, be based on a patient's spoken language.

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