Original Research

The internal and external consistency of a speech reception threshold test for isiZulu speakers with normal hearing sensitivity

Seema Panday, Harsha Kathard, Mershen Pillay, Wayne Wilson
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 65, No 1 | a556 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v65i1.556 | © 2018 Seema Panday, Harsha Kathard, Mershen Pillay, Wayne Wilson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 March 2017 | Published: 25 June 2018

About the author(s)

Seema Panday, Discipline of Audiology, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Harsha Kathard, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Mershen Pillay, Discipline of Audiology, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Wayne Wilson, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia


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Abstract

Background and objectives: This study investigated reliability, particularly the internal and external consistency, of a new isiZulu speech reception threshold (SRT) test.

 

Methods: To examine internal consistency, 21 adult isiZulu speakers with normal hearing sensitivity completed the SRT test using the first and second halves of the SRT wordlist in the same test session. To examine external consistency, a separate 23 adult isiZulu speakers with normal hearing sensitivity completed the SRT test, using the whole word list on two occasions 4 weeks apart. Consistency of SRT test scores in these test conditions was measured using intraclass correlation coefficient analyses (a measure of the consistency or reproducibility of different observations of the same quantity) and Bland and Altman analyses of agreement (a comparison of measurement error with the expected variation amongst subjects).

 

Results: Intraclass correlation coefficient values ranged from 0.69 to 0.79, showing the isiZulu test scores were highly consistent between the test and retest conditions used in this study. Bland and Altman analyses showed that isiZulu speakers with normal hearing sensitivity can be expected to return isiZulu SRT test scores that differ by no more than 7.5 dB HL – 8.7 dB HL between original and repeat assessments.

 

Conclusion: The isiZulu SRT test was reliable, showing high internal and external consistency, when used to assess first-language speakers of isiZulu with normal hearing sensitivity. These findings warrant continued development of the isiZulu SRT test for eventual clinical use. This development should include validating this test on first-language speakers of isiZulu with and without hearing loss.


Keywords

Speech Reception Threshold; internal consistency; external consistency; test retest reliability; split half reliability

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