Development and validation of the Speech Reception in Noise (SPRINT) Test

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Abstract

Since 1992, the Speech Recognition in Noise Test, or SPRINT, has been the standard speech-in-noise test for assessing auditory fitness-for-duty of US Army Soldiers with hearing loss. The original SPRINT test consisted of 200 monosyllabic words presented at a Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of +9 dB in the presence of a six-talker babble noise. Normative data for the test was collected on 319 hearing impaired Soldiers, and a procedure for making recommendations about the disposition of military personnel on the basis of their SPRINT score and their years of experience was developed and implemented as part of US Army policy. In 2013, a new 100-word version of the test was developed that eliminated words that were either too easy or too hard to make meaningful distinctions among hearing impaired listeners. This paper describes the development of the original 200-word SPRINT test, along with a description of the procedure used to reduce the 200-word test to 100 words and the results of a validation study conducted to evaluate how well the shortened 100-word test is able to capture the results from the full 200-word version of the SPRINT.

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