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Helms, Jan; Weichbold, Viktor; Baumann, Uwe; Specht, Hellmut von; Schön, Franz; Müller, Joachim; Esser, Barbara; Ziese, Michael; Anderson, Ilona; D'Haese, Patrick (2004): Analysis of ceiling effects occurring with speech recognition tests in adult cochlear-implanted patients. In: ORL-Journal for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology and its related Specialties, No. 3: pp. 130-135




This article presents a simple method of analysing speech test scores which are biased through ceiling effects. Eighty postlingually deafened adults implanted with a MED-EL COMBI 40/40+ cochlear implant (CI) were administered a numbers test and a sentence test at initial device activation and at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months thereafter. As a measure for speech recognition performance, the number of patients who scored at the `ceiling level' (i.e. at least 95% correct answers) was counted at each test interval. Results showed a quick increase in this number soon after device activation as well as a continuous improvement over time ( numbers test: 1 month: 51%; 6 months: 73%; 24 months: 88%; sentence test: 1 month: 33%; 6 months: 49%; 24 months: 64%). The new method allows for the detection of speech recognition progress in CI patient samples even at late test intervals, where improvement curves based on averaged scores are usually assuming a flat shape. Copyright (C) 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel.