Is there a clinical application for tablet-based automated audiometry in children?

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Introduction: Recent research supports the clinical use of automated audiometry for pediatric hearing screenings. However, very few studies have tested whether tablet-based automated audiometry can offer a valid alternative to traditional manual audiometry for estimation of hearing thresholds in children. This study examined the validity and efficiency of automated audiometry in school-aged children. Methods: Hearing thresholds for 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 kHz were collected in 32 children ages 6–12 years using standard audiometry and tablet-based automated audiometry in a soundproof booth. Test administration time, test preference, and medical history were also collected. Results: Results exhibited that the majority (67%) of threshold differences between automated and standard were within the clinically acceptable range (10 dB). The threshold difference between the two tests showed that automated audiometry thresholds were higher by 12 dB in 6-year-olds, 7 dB in 7- to 9-year-olds, and 3 dB in 10- to 12-year-olds. In addition, test administration times were similar, such that standard audiometry took an average of 12.3 min and automated audiometry took 11.9 min. Conclusions: These results support the use of tablet-based automated audiometry in children from ages 7–12 years. However, the results suggest that the clinical use of at least some types of tablet-based automated audiometry may not be feasible in children 6 years of age.

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International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

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