Context: The willingness of a person to accept noise while listening to speech can be measured using the acceptable noise level (ANL) test. Individuals with poor ANL are unlikely to become successful hearing aid users. Hence, it is important to enhance the individual's ability to accept noise levels. The current study was an attempt to investigate whether systematic desensitization training can improve the ANL in individuals having high ANL. Aims: To investigate the effect of systematic desensitization training on ANLs in individuals with normal hearing sensitivity. Settings and Design: Observational study design. Materials and Methods: Thirty-eight normally hearing adults within the age range of 18-25 years participated in the study. Initially, baseline ANL was measured for all participants. Based on the baseline ANL, participants were categorized into three groups; low ANL, mid ANL, and high ANL. The participants with high ANL were trained using systematic desensitization procedure whereas, individuals with low and mid ANL did not undergo any training and served as the comparison groups. After the training period, ANL was measured again for all the participants. Statistical Analysis Used: Repeated measures of analysis of variance with follow up paired 't' test. Results: Analysis revealed a significant main effect of systematic desensitization training on ANL. There was a significant improvement in ANL in participants with high ANL. However, there was no significant difference in ANL between baseline and follow-up session in individuals with low and mid ANL. Conclusions: Systematic desensitization training can facilitate ANL, thereby enhancing the individual's ability to accept the noise levels. This enhanced ANL can facilitate better hearing aid fitting and acceptance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Speech and Hearing