Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Pure-Tone Audiometric Threshold Test-Retest Variability in Young and Elderly Adults

Author(s) Janine A. Landry, MSc
Walter B. Green, PhD
Volume 23
Number 2
Year 1999
Page(s) 74-80
Language English
Keywords pure-tone
Abstract Audiometric threshold test-retest variability was studied in three age groups: young adults aged 22-34 years, older adults aged 50-63 years, and seniors aged 65-81 years. Audiometeric thresholds were tested at six frequencies (250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, and 8000 Hz) utilizing supraaural and insert transducers. No statistically significant differences were found in test-retest differences at 250, 500, and 1000 Hz as a function of age group or transducer (p > .05). Statistically significant group, transducer, and group by transducer effects were found at 2000 and 8000 Hz, 2000 Hz, and 4000 Hz (p < .05), respectively. These results were speculated to be due to changes in the aging ear canal structure combined with inherent variability in the transducer coupling characteristics. The outcomes of this study suggest caution should be exercised when interpreting audiometric threshold test-retest changes in adult listeners.

La variabilité test-retest du seuil audiométrique a été étudiée chez trois groupes d’âge : les jeunes adultes de 22 à 34 ans, les adultes mûrs de 50 à 63 ans, et les aînés de 65 à 81 ans. On a mesuré les seuils audiométriques à six fréquences (250, 500, 1 000, 2 000,
4 000 et 8 000 Hz) au moyen de transducteurs supra-auraux et internes. On n’a relevé aucune différence statistiquement significative pour les différences test-retest à 250, 500 et 1 000 Hz en fonction du groupe d’âge ou du transducteur (p > .05). On a par contre relevé des effets statistiquement significatifs selon le groupe, le transducteur et groupe-transducteur à 2 000 et
8 000 Hz, 2 000 Hz et 4 000 Hz (p < .05), respectivement. Ces résultats supposent des changements de la structure vieillissante du canal auditif, de pair avec la variabilité inhérente des caractéristiques de couplage des transducteurs. Les résultats de cette étude suggèrent qu’il faut être prudent dans l’interprétation des changements test-retest du seuil audiométrique chez les écoutants adultes.
Record ID 82

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