By Michael Tappis, hearing aid specialist and
student of the Master in Clinical Audiology and Hearing Therapy
ASSR is an objective electrophysiological method for determining hearing loss thresholds in specific frequencies. Exploring the reliability of this method through comparison with the tonal audiometry has often been the subject of articles in audiology.
A methodical review of published articles in English of the last fifteen years have been processed and after the systematic study and correlation, eight articles were included. In all articles, adult participants were examined with a tonal audiometry and then with ASSR and an attempt was made to compare the thresholds obtained from the two examinations with statistical methods. Results were expressed in terms of the correlation of the thresholds resulting from the two methods in relation to the examined frequency and also in groups of patients with different degrees of hearing loss.
Regarding the degree of hearing loss, most authors converge that the correlation of the two types of tests is higher in people with moderate sensorineural hearing loss and the lowest in subjects with normal hearing. Two of the eight authors reported that no statistically significant difference was found in the accuracy of ASSR thresholds depending on the degree of hearing loss. In terms of frequency, the correlation between the thresholds of the tonal audiometry and the ASSR was high for all frequencies. Three researchers found larger deviations of the thresholds at the frequency of 500 Hz. The other authors did not report statistically significant differences between different frequencies.
ASSRs are a reliable tool in assessing hearing loss. Disadvantages such as the difference of the ASSR thresholds from those of the tonal audiometry in people with normal hearing found in several studies and also larger deviations in some frequencies compared to others need further improvement.
Download the full Research Work: Tappis, M. (2022). Comparing tone Audiometry and ASSR on adults. SAERA – School of Advanced Education, Research and Accreditation.