Difference between NW University #6, List III, Form A vs. NW University #6, List IV, Form A

On a Costco Audiogram in addition to the frequency/hearing level graph they provide the results of speech testing utilizing NW University #6, List III, Form A (WRS/SRS 1) followed by the results (I think) of NW University #6, List IV, Form A (WRS/SRS 2). My question, what is the difference between the two & what is the difference in how they are administered? I can find nothing in explanations of audiograms, yet this is a very important area (I think) referencing clarity of speech recognition in noise.

The word lists are used to determine word recognition. Initially the common word list used in testing was the CID-22, which was based on phonetics. Later, the NW University lists came out, they are based on phonemics. The NW University lists are surpassing the CID in use, at this time.

" CID W-22 vs. NU-6. The most common materials for speech recognition testing are the monosyllabic words, the Central Institute of the Deaf W-22 and the Northwestern University-6 word list. These are the most common open set materials and there has been some discussion among audiologists concerning the differences between those. From a historical perspective, the CID W-22 list came from the original Harvard PAL-PB50 words and the W-22s are a group of the more familiar of those. They were developed into four 50-word lists. They are still commonly used by audiologists today. The NU-6 lists were developed later and instead of looking for phonetic balance, they considered a more phonemic balance. The articulation function for both of those using recorded materials is about the same, 4% per dB. The NU-6 tests are considered somewhat more difficult than the W-22s. Clinical surveys show that both materials are used by practicing audiologists, with usage of the NU-6 lists beginning to surpass usage of W-22s."

“Due to research by Lehiste and Peterson (1959), yet another list was developed to improve the phonetically balanced characteristic of speech recognition tests. Lehiste and Peterson suggested a modification of the term “phonetic balance.” They theorized that speech recognition was accomplished more on a phonemic basis rather than phonetically (Gelfand, 1997). In an attempt to overcome this conflict, Lehiste and Peterson developed test lists of consonant-vowel nucleus-consonant (CNC) words from earlier work of Thorndike and Lorge (Silman & Silverman, 1997). In later years, Tillman, Carhart, and Wilber revised Lehiste and Peterson’s work to create the NU-4 test, a test that included 100 CNC’s (Gelfand, 1997). The NU-4 test consisted of two 50-word lists. Three years after the NU-4 lists were created, Tillman and Carhart modified the lists and increased the number of words to 200 to create the audiological test referred to as the NU-6 test. The NU-6 test is comprised of four lists of 50 words, and in addition to the W-22 test, is one of the most commonly used tests in audiological practice today (Gelfand, 1997).”

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It seems that periodically the word lists are updated, to try and match words commonly used in English. They want to capture words which most people are familiar with. The lists are recorded with different filters, which helps the audiologist determine the sort of hearing loss specific to you.

The words on each list are scored based on difficulty.

So the explanation of the difference gets in to the training of the audiologist. We depend on their training to read the test results, recognize which filter worked better, know which words are rated as more difficult, and more.

On 10/30/19 I talked with the Costco Tech who performed my wife’s testing on 10/24/19. She explained that the WRS/SRS1 is in their computer from testing done by a previous Costco Tech on 8/2/17. So WRS/SRS1 is the previous test result, WRS/SRS2 is the 10/24/19 test result. On the basis of the audiogram results 8/2/19 we purchased a pair of Resound Cala 8 hearing aids with earmolds from Costco. But my wife was not sure she had better speech recognition than she has with the Unitron Ultra Quantum 12 hearing aids with earmolds purchased through Tru-Hearing in 10/3/2013. So we returned the Resound hearing aids during the 180 day trial period. We have an appointment scheduled with our local ENT Doc middle of November to ask for any possible way to improve her speech discrimination. Thanks for your input!

So, you are wondering what is the cause of her hearing loss? Or you want to know if there is a surgical option? Because that is what the ENT does. Everything else, s/he will just refer you to the audiologist.

They have an audiologist in the same office. So I am sure that will be next stop. The problem may well be age related, but medications may be a contributing factor. Would just like to know about possible options. Possibly a hybrid hearing aid cochlear implant? Not sure about surgery at my wife’s age! But she already has problems with depression & being unable to participate in group settings adds to her problem. Otherwise after a heart attack followed by 2 stents & a 3 lead pacemaker 3.5 years ago she has been doing great!

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