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OTORINOLARINGOLOGIA

A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
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Otorinolaringologia 2011 December;61(4):101-9

Copyright © 2011 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

The SUN test (Speech Understanding in Noise): an automated test for adult hearing screening

Paglialonga A., Tognola G., Grandori F.

Istituto di Ingegneria Biomedica (ISIB), Milano, Italia


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Aim. To develop and validate an automated speech-in-noise test (SUN test - Speech Understanding in Noise) for adult hearing screening.
Methods. The SUN test is based on the multiple-choice recognition of intervocalic consonants (VCV) in noise. A list of VCV stimuli is presented unilaterally, with ipsilateral noise of increasing level. For each VCV stimulus, a set of three alternatives are displayed on a touch-screen where the subject has to identify the perceived stimulus. Based on the number of correct responses, the test provides one of three possible outcomes: “green” = “no listening difficulties”; “yellow” = “a hearing check would be advisable”; “red” = “a hearing check is recommended”. The test was developed and validated in a overall population of more than 1300 subjects with age ranging from 13 to 89 years. The test was developed in the Italian language and, also, in other languages such as, for example, English, German, French, and Spanish. This paper describes and discusses the main results obtained with the SUN test in the Italian language.
Results. The SUN test is an easy-to-use test, automated and fast (less than 1 minute per ear). The test is reliable and can be easily used also by elderly subjects. Test performance is robust also in high ambient noise environments and could thus be used also in non clinical settings, where the ambient noise is typically not controlled.
Conclusion. Results suggest that the SUN test might be a viable approach for adult hearing screening.

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