We compared two different types of hearing-aid fitting procedures in a double-blind randomized clinical study. Hearing aid fittings based on a purely prescriptive procedure (the NAL-RP formula) were compared to a comparative fitting procedure based on optimizing speech intelligibility scores. Main outcome measures were improvement of speech intelligibility scores in quiet and in noise. Data were related to the real-ear insertion responses that were measured after fitting. For analysis purposes subgroups were composed according to degree of hearing loss, characterized by unaided speech intelligibility in quiet, previous experience with hearing aids, unilateral or bilateral fittings and type of hearing aid. We found equal improvement of speech intelligibility in quiet, while fitting according to the prescriptive formula resulted in a somewhat better performance as expressed by the speech-to-noise ratio in comparison to the comparative procedure. Both procedures resulted in comparable real-ear insertion responses.

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doi.org/10.1007/s00405-008-0596-x, hdl.handle.net/1765/29889
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam