Lars Bramsløw

Senior Scientist

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Eriksholm’s research is to a large extent based on results obtained with a variety of different outcome measures and assessment methods. The desire to cover new research ground creates a constant need for new, more advanced outcome measures and assessment methods. At the same time, it becomes even more important to know when to use what measure or method.

Outcome measures in hearing-aid research

Different outcome measures are required for research into hearing and hearing aids. Measures of speech intelligibility, listening effort, and cognitive abilities are just a few examples of outcome measures used in Eriksholm’s research. The ability to measure such abilities in a reliable and efficient way is thus crucial for Eriksholm.

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    Figure 1. Set-up for special unmasking and localization tests in Eriksholm’s anechoic chamber.

Development and modification of assessment methods

Existing test and assessment methods can often be reused, but in some cases, existing methods must be modified or brand new methods developed in order to obtain the desired outcome measures. Eriksholm has participated in numerous activities involving test development or modification – both alone and in cooperation with others. These cover a broad spectrum, from the development of self-assessment questionnaires over construction of a listening-effort test to the development of a new speech corpus for assessing speech-on-speech masking.

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    Figure 2. Interview methods are used to obtain qualitative assessment data.

The right method in the right way

Important questions in connection with the development and use of test and assessment methods concern verification (is the test constructed correctly?), validation (does the test measure what it is intended to measure?), and reliability (are the test results reproducible?). These kinds of questions are therefore frequently asked at Eriksholm in order to be aware of not only the possibilities but also the limitations of the methods we use. The aim is to ensure that the right method always is used – in the right way – for a given purpose.

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    Speech-intelligibility and sound-quality benefits of hearing aids over PSAPs in a blinded laboratory study