Speech Discrimination Assessment Accuracy

I’m wondering if someone can explain to me how one would determine the accuracy of a speech discrimination test? From what I’ve experienced, it seems the person performing the test subjectively determined if I repeated the word/sentence back to them correctly, and then recorded my overall score. Is the testing, in fact, subjective? I.e., if the person performing the hearing test yawned, sneezed, or misheard my response, could they then record that I misheard the word, when it fact it was them who misheard my response?

The reason I ask is because, as some of you know, I had four hearing tests done last year prior to getting my hearing aid. The first three tests were done by people who I presume had “normal” hearing. (I say I presume they had “normal” hearing because none of them appeared to be wearing hearing aids, but I’m fully aware that any of them could potentially have been HOH.) I scored 100% in each ear on all three tests. The fourth test, which was performed by my current audiologist, who has a moderate-to-severe hearing loss bilaterally and wears hearing aids, scored me at 94% for one ear and 96% for my other. At the time, I thought it was strange that my speech discrimination had gone down that much in the space of two months, but I just assumed that was life and I’d better get on with it. Then this spring I had an appointment with an otologist who again had my hearing tested. I scored 100% in both ears at that time. So…why the dip in the fourth hearing test I had? Is it possible that my audiologist misheard me?

I know some of the audiologists and hearing instrument specialists on this forum are hearing aid users. For those of you who are, how do you know that you’re accurately hearing what a client is repeating? Please don’t take this question offensively. I’m in no way suggesting HOH people should not become audiologists or HIS. (I’m contemplating taking the HIS program myself because I’m truly finding hearing loss issues fascinating!) I’m merely asking how people who have a hearing loss, even one that is aided, are able to determine someone else’s speech discrimination? Thank you, in advance, for clarifying!

Kerry

way too much thinking going on… the difference between the 3 100% and the 1 in the mid 90’s are a wash. it’s not going to be 100% accurate but close enough. maybe you had a cold, distracted, etc… same for the doc. I’ll bet if you sent the blood from the same draw to 3 different labs the lab reports would not be a perfect match.

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way too much thinking going on… the difference between the 3 100% and the 1 in the mid 90’s are a wash. it’s not going to be 100% accurate but close enough. maybe you had a cold, distracted, etc… same for the doc. I’ll bet if you sent the blood from the same draw to 3 different labs the lab reports would not be a perfect match.

[quote=Doc Jake;110738]way too much thinking going on… the difference between the 3 100% and the 1 in the mid 90’s are a wash. it’s not going to be 100% accurate but close enough. maybe you had a cold, distracted, etc… same for the doc. I’ll bet if you sent the blood from the same draw to 3 different labs the lab reports would not be a perfect match.

— Updated —
I understand what you’re saying, Doc Jake, and overall I’m not terribly worried about my results. I’m more interested in knowing if the speech discrimination test is, in fact, subjective? Who decides that whatever the person being tested has repeated is correct or not? If it’s only the person reading the words/sentences, then there’s quite a bit of potential for error…

And what about audis who are hearing impaired? How do they know for certain that they are hearing the responses correctly? I’m really curious about this.

Speech audiometry is clearly subjective. It doesn’t work very well for people who are non-native English speakers. Although it’s possible to get test materials in other languages. However the tester may not be fluent in a particular language and could score the words incorrectly. And the results may be influenced by different dialects.

Kerry, I’ve been thinking about your post for a couple of days to think about my personal experience. I’m kinda noticing that w/my aids sometimes the speech is not clearer on occasion but muffled ( before my current issue ) & wondered if it was just me. You have given me something to think about & maybe talk to my audiologist about.

Miki

That’s interesting, Miki, about speech being more muffled to you on occasion. I’ve mentioned a few times on this board that my understanding of speech is generally worse with my hearing aid in than it is without my hearing aid. I’ve done several “tests” in a variety of situations using male and female voices. It seems like 90% of the time, I understand a person better in my “bad” ear if I take the aid out and the other person just speaks louder. Overall, I’ve found that very frustrating. I’ve asked my audi about it several times; she has no idea why that’s the case for me. I often don’t wear my HA at home or in one-on-one situations because I still find, after many, many fittings, that while it does amplify speech, it also garbles speech significantly. For a specific example, I watched a 5-minute segment of Chicago Fire a few months ago with my hearing aid in and had difficulty understanding much of what was said. Then, I took my HA out, turned up the TV volume by 2 increments and watched the same segment and I could understand all but two words, which my hubby said were mumbled… My audi said she would expect that kind of experience if most of my hearing loss was conductive, but it’s not. Some of my low frequency loss is conductive, but allegedly the high frequency loss is sensorineural.

Kerry