Reading span performance in 339 Swedish 50-89 year old individuals with hearing impairment: Effects of test version and age, and relation to speech recognition in noise
2013 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The Swedish reading span test (Rönnberg, Lyxell, Arlinger, & Kinnefors, 1989) is often used to assess working memory capacity (WMC) in the field of cognitive hearing science. The test has proven useful as a predictor of speech recognition in noise in adverse conditions. It has been used in a wide range of experimental studies and has been translated to several languages. The purpose of this paper was to provide reference data for the Swedish reading span test (Rönnberg et al., 1989) in a large sample of adults with hearing impairment aged 50-89 years that are representative of patients seeking rehabilitation at audiological clinics. Data from finished and ongoing projects were collated and reanalyzed for this purpose. The original full version and a shortened version of the test were compared, in terms of percentage correct. In addition, performance on the full version was compared across two different age-cohorts, 50-69 year olds and 70-89 year olds. Frequency distributions and percentile scores are reported, as well as relations with demographic variables, and speech recognition in noise. Results showed that reading span performance was related to age, but not sex, with lower scores in older participants. Pure tone hearing thresholds accounted for a small but significant amount of the variance such that higher reading span scores were related to better hearing. The frequency distributions of scores did not differ across the two versions of the test, but the long version seemed to be more sensitive to age. Performance in both versions was significantly correlated with speech recognition in noise. Regression analyses however showed that reading span explained additional variance in speech in noise recognition, after the effects of age and pure tone hearing thresholds were accounted for, only in the 50-69 year olds. These findings are discussed in relation to age-related differences in the ability to recruit cognitive resources in the service of speech communication.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99780OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-99780DiVA: diva2:658168