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An evaluation of user performance with inductive coupling of hearing aids and telephone receivers incorporating receiver amplification Hanusaik, Linda Irene


Previous research has shown the benefit obtained by hard of hearing people when using inductive means (T-switch) to couple their hearing aids to telephone receivers. Benefit provided by receiver amplification in the telephone handset has also been shown. Informal surveys of hard of hearing people indicate that many of them use telephones having a dual capability: magnetic coupling and receiver amplification. The objective of this investigation was to study user performance with this dual capability. In particular, the effect of receiver amplification on the speech perception ability (as measured by R-SPIN test items) of 10 hard of hearing subjects using inductive means to couple their hearing aid to a telephone receiver was examined under both good and poor telephone line conditions. The influence of the predictability of the speech material presented was also investigated by noting any difference between the subjects' performance on high predictability items and performance on low predictability items (of the R-SPIN test). Results showed that the use of receiver amplification in conjunction with inductive coupling significantly improved the subjects' speech perception scores. Not surprisingly, good telephone line conditions also significantly improved the subjects' scores. Improvement due to receiver amplification was noted, irrespective of line conditions. Similarly, improvement due to good line conditions was observed, irrespective of whether amplification was used or not. Both receiver amplification and good line conditions had significant and positive effects on both low predictability and high predictability scores. We conclude that with speech either in or out of context, receiver amplification will be of benefit to those who use inductive coupling. Clinical implications and recommendations are discussed.

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