Outcome parameters in speech audiometry: retrospective analysis of data and reporting quality in clinical studies

  • Joseph MorgensternEmail author
  • Susen Lailach
  • Thomas Zahnert
  • Marcus Neudert



The use of standardized outcome parameters is essential for the comparability of clinical studies. Pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry are widely used, but there is no systematic evaluation of the outcome parameters in clinical application. Nevertheless, there is presumably a great heterogeneity especially in the field of speech audiometry. This study presents a snapshot of the current situation of documentation and usage of outcome parameters in otologic research.

Study design

Retrospective study of existing literature analyzing common speech audiometric test material and procedure

Main outcome measures

Intervention Studies from 2012 to 2016 concerning hearing ability were eligible for evaluation. Studies were analyzed with regard to study design, pathology and intervention, speech audiometric parameters, pure-tone audiometry, implementation of reporting standards and journal related data.


279 studies were included. Over 50% of the analyzed studies lacked proper documentation. In the remaining studies, there was a broad variance concerning the documented speech audiometric parameters, most often with a fixed presentation level of 65 dB SPL.


The lack of generally used standards for reporting hearing outcomes makes it difficult to compare results of different clinical studies. An adequate description of the methods would be a first and important step in improving reports on audiological outcomes.


Speech audiometry Reporting quality Hearing implant Vestibular schwannoma Hearing loss Speech discrimination test 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

As it is a retrospective study of existing literature, this article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors. Therefore, an institutional ethic board review was not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Universital Hospital Dresden, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav CarusTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany

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