OBJECTIVE : Examine the accuracy of automated audiometry in a clinically heterogeneous
population of adults using the KUDUwave automated audiometer.
DESIGN : Prospective accuracy study. Manual audiometry was performed in a sound-treated
room and automated audiometry was not conducted in a sound-treated environment.
STUDY SAMPLE : 42 consecutively recruited participants from a tertiary otolaryngology
department in Western Australia.
RESULTS : Absolute mean differences ranged between 5.12 – 9.68 dB (air-conduction) and 8.26
– 15.00 dB (bone-conduction). 86.5% of manual and automated 4FAs were within 10 dB (i.e.
±5 dB); 94.8% were within 15 dB. However, there were significant (p<0.05) differences
between automated and manual audiometry at 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 kHz (air-conduction) and 0.5
and 1 kHz (bone-conduction). The effect of age (≥55 years) on accuracy (p = 0.014) was not
significant on linear regression (p>0.05; R2 = 0.11). The presence of a hearing loss (better ear
≥26 dB) did not significantly affect accuracy (p = 0.604; air-conduction), (p = 0.218; boneconduction).
CONCLUSIONS : This study provides clinical validation of automated audiometry using the
KUDUwave in a clinically heterogeneous population, without the use of a sound-treated
environment. Whilst threshold variations were statistically significant, future research is
needed to ascertain the clinical significance of such variation.