By Shyni Saji,  student of the Master in Clinical Audiology and Hearing Therapy


Early detection of reduced hearing and early intervention has proven to be essential for children’s proper development and better quality of life. The Smartphone-based hearing test app uHear has been validated as an adult hearing screening tool in many reports. The aim of this study is to validate uHear on children hearing loss in a quiet environment (audiobooth).

Children aged 4 to 14 were recruited in this study. Pure tone audiometry (PTA) and uHear were conducted in a soundproof booth. The hearing data from the mean – Pure Tone Average (PTA) of thresholds at 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 and 6000 Hz for all the two – test modalities was calculated, compared, and analyzed statistically. Children who failed to conduct hearing tests were excluded.  Normal hearing (NH) and hearing loss (HL) were grouped using cut off value of 40 dB HL and compared to get sensitivity, specificity, and positive/negative predictive value.  P ˂ 0.05 were adopted for the significance.  

This study is addressed to the participating institutions and to the UAE because there are many children nearby this community and country who cannot reach the well-equipped audiology system. Mobile clinic with simple hearing screening app can reach them and may provide good hearing screening. This will contribute to set up a national early detection of hearing loss strategy in the underdeveloped area and country.

A total of 40 patients (80 ears) aged from 4 to 13 were recruited for this study. Two children were excluded because of age limit (younger than 4 years old). A total of 38 patients (76 ears) met inclusion criteria and enrolled in this study. Male to female ratio was 14: 24 and mean age 9.02  2.2. Normal hearing was 56 (73.68%), mild hearing loss 8 (10.52%), moderate 5 (6.57%) moderately severe 5 (6.57%), and severe 2 (2.63%). There were no patients with profound hearing loss from PTA average.

Sensitivity of uHear was 100% in 6 kHz, 96.8% in 1 kHz, 95.4% in 4Khz, 93.9% in 2Khz and 85.1% in 500Hz. Specificity was 100 % in 500Hz, 2 and 4 kHz, and 92.3% in 1Khz and 73.3% in 6Khz. Positive predictive values were 100% in all frequencies except 1 and 6kHz, and negative predictive values were 71.4 – 100% in all frequencies except 500Hz.  Chi-square test revealed no significant difference (P > 0.05) between PTA and uHear hearing groups. Paired t-test showed statistical differences between PTA and uHear in 0.5 (p = 0.000), 1 (p = 0.000), 2 (p = 0.003), and 4 (p = 0.020) kHz, but no significant difference was found in 6 kHz (p = 0.066).

uHear app can be used for children hearing loss screening, especially for the hearing loss of more than 40 dB HL in a noise-controlled environment.

Download the full Research Work: Shyni Saji (2023). Portable Electric Device based Hearing Test (uHear) Validation in Children Population in Quiet Environments. UAE Single Center Clinical Comparative Study


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