Evaluation and validation of the Occupational Earcheck (BOC)

Marya Sheikh Rashid
AMC, Clinical and Experimental Audiology

In the Netherlands the internet-based self-screening test the Occupational Earcheck (OEC) has been developed by the Dutch National Hearing Foundation. This test is an adaptive speech-in-noise test, specifically designed for the detection of occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). This study evaluates the OEC and investigates its potential to detect NIHL.

Design. This study consists of two parts. In the first part, past OEC results (N=7.933) are evaluated in order to improve the test. In the second part, different versions of an improved OEC (with alternative masking noises) are compared to pure-tone audiometry, which is considered to clinical standard in occupational hearing screening, and with the digit triplet test (DTT), in a controlled setting.

Study sample: In total, 18 normal-hearing listeners and 15 listeners with different degrees of NIHL participated.

Results: The OEC has been approved The OEC with a low-pass filtered stationary noise (1.6 kHz), and a -12 dB noise floor seems to be the most appropriate for the detection of NIHL. The test shows a high sensitivity and specificity (both >90%) and a strong correlation with PTA3,4,6 (Pearson’s r=0.83). OEC and DTT results are comparable, but the OEC shows slightly favorable results.

Conclusion: The improved OEC, using a homogenous set of monosyllables with high-frequent consonants and paired vowels, in combination with a low-pass filtered masking noise, seems to be an appropriate test for occupational hearing screening purposes.

Werhbm7evdzas0oloteiweqr9otjb (katja.wtjnj4arnkbbu+en@plxrjuol.deyooli) (Stand: 07.11.2019)