Development of a Māori Language Version of the New Zealand Hearing Screening Test
Murray, Christa Jane
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Hearing loss has a prevalence of 10.3% in New Zealand, with the Māori population being disproportionately affected compared to the non-Māori population. Hearing loss is an impairment that is under-recognised, under-reported and under-treated. This can be explained by the many existing barriers – the shortage of audiological services, financial cost to an individual seeking treatment, the stigma of both hearing loss and hearing aids, and healthcare seeking rates, particularly among the Māori population. This study aimed to develop a Māori language adaptive digit triplet test that could be offered remotely via the telephone and Internet as a hearing-screening test. Three sets of recordings were made of digit triplets spoken in te reo Māori by a female speaker. Two of these sets were selected for normalisation in speech noise. Normal-hearing participants (8 listeners) with hearing thresholds ≤20 dB HL were tested to establish the intelligibility of the individual recorded digits at various signal-to-noise ratios (-13, -10.5, -8 and -5.5 dB). Psychometric functions were fitted to the intelligibility data, and the digits in each position of the triplet that had the steepest slope were selected as the final test stimuli. The level of each selected digit was then adjusted to achieve equal intelligibility as measured at the midpoints of the psychometric functions. These digits were then assembled into eight equivalent lists of similar difficulty, ready for pilot testing. Due to low participant numbers, the pilot testing phase was not completed. Further development of this test continues as the focus of a follow-on study.