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Evidence on the efficacy of insert earphone and sound field VRA with young infants.

British Journal of Audiology
Informa UK (Informa Healthcare)
Publication Date
  • Methods: Audiometry
  • Physiology: Auditory Threshold
  • Hearing Aids
  • Therapy: Hearing Disorders
  • Human
  • Infant
  • Methods: Photic Stimulation
  • Reinforcement (Psychology)
  • Sound
  • Support
  • Non-U.S. Gov'T
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Medicine


Visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA) with insert-earphone stimulus delivery provides a means of obtaining early ear-specific information on the auditory status of infants. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of VRA in young infants, and to compare the use of sound field and insert-earphone stimulus presentation. VRA was performed on 41 normally developing infants aged between 20 and 42 weeks. Infants were tested in the sound field (n=22) and with insert earphones (n=19). Results showed significantly more minimum response levels (MRLs) obtained with sound field testing, and with older children. Nevertheless, in the insert-earphone group, 36% of those aged 32 weeks or more gave two or more MRLs, and 25% of the infants aged 25 weeks or less gave one or more MRLs. This study provides data from developmentally normal infants which confirms the efficacy of insert-earphones as well as sound field VRA with 32-42-week-olds, with reasonable expectation of success. The data in this study also suggest that VRA could be usefully employed for younger infants aged approximately 20-26 weeks where information, although less easily obtained, may be of particular value to early diagnosis and habilitation.

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