Digit Triplet Test Hearing Screening With Broadband and Low-Pass Filtered Noise in a Middle-Aged Population

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Abstract

Objectives:

This study investigated whether age affects Flemish Digit Triplet Test (DTT) scores, as well as sensitivity and specificity of the test to detect high-frequency hearing impairment in middle age.

Design:

DTT performance in broadband and low-pass filtered noise was assessed for 21 young and 61 middle-aged persons with normal-hearing sensitivity. Cutoff values based on their performance were used to evaluate sensitivity and specificity of the DTT as a screening tool in 145 middle-aged persons, with varying audiometric profiles.

Results:

DTT performance for normal-hearing persons depended on age in both noise conditions. For low-pass filtered noise, the trade-off between sensitivity and specificity also increased when age-adjusted cutoff values were applied for screening in middle age.

Conclusions:

The Flemish DTT with broadband noise had high sensitivity and specificity to detect high-frequency hearing impairment in middle age. Similar results were obtained for low-pass filtered noise when cutoff values for referral were age adjusted.

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