Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Monograph

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor

Allen, Prudence

Abstract

Advanced measures of the auditory system like otoacoustic emission (OAE) testing are essential for highlighting the subtle expressions of hearing loss if clinical care is to remain up to date with current scientific knowledge. The purpose of this study was to compare distortion product OAE (DPOAE) testing across three different measurement systems (Interacoustic Titan, Bio-logic Scout and Vivosonic Integrity) to determine if there are differences in DPOAE testing. Secondly, the study will look to evaluate the effect if varying accuracy settings on DPOAE testing within the Integrity system. DPOAE tests evaluating levels, noise floor levels, probe fit check time and testing time across test frequencies from 2000 to 8000 Hz were compared in a total of twenty normal hearing adult. Findings show that DPOAE results are within normal limits across all devices and protocols. These findings allow audiologist to make more informed decisions when testing OAEs.

Summary for Lay Audience

Advanced measures of the auditory system like otoacoustic emission (OAE) testing are essential for highlighting the subtle expressions of hearing loss if clinical care is to remain up to date with current scientific knowledge. This objective test which can reveal the health of the cochlea is measured using specialized OAE measurement systems that allow audiologists to understand the underlying nature of possible hearing pathologies. However, advancements in software and hardware over the years has led to the development of many different OAE measurement systems from different manufacturers. With so many different systems now in existence, there is a lack in literature comparing the different devices in their performance. It remains unclear as to whether these systems can accurately conduct an OAE test despite using different software and hardware. Therefore, the proposed project will look to compare distortion product OAE (DPOAE) testing across three different measurement systems (Interacoustic Titan, Bio-logic Scout and Vivosonic Integrity) to determine if there are differences in DPOAE testing. Secondly, the study will look to evaluate the effect of varying accuracy settings on DPOAE testing within the Integrity system.

DPOAE tests evaluating levels, noise floor levels, probe fit check time and testing time across test frequencies from 2000 to 8000 Hz were compared in a total of twenty normal hearing adult. Results demonstrated that DPOAE levels were consistent across all three measurement systems and accuracy settings. However, differences in noise floor level, probe fit check time and test times were reported between instruments which suggest differences in averaging algorithms. Differences in noise floor level and test time estimates for varying accuracy settings in the Integrity were also reported, with the more accurate protocol yielding lower noise floor estimates yet longer test times compared to the fast (less accurate) protocol. This suggests that there is utility in varying accuracy settings depending on what an audiologist wants to evaluate and the testing circumstances. Given these findings, audiologists can now make a more informed decision when choosing what OAE measurement system to utilize and can rest assured that they will accurately conduct a DPOAE test.

Available for download on Sunday, December 31, 2023

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