The clinical value of oto-acoustic emissions (OAEs) for the identification of the integrity of outer hair cell function has been proven numerous times in research studies, and OAEs are commonly included in the audiological test battery used by audiologists. The technological advances in this field, however, require continuous research to determine the value of new equipment. The main objective of this study was to determine the test-retest reliability of distortion product oto-acoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and transient evoked oto-acoustic emissions (TEOAEs). The subjects were female adults between 18 and 25 years of age, and 30 ears were used for this study. All participants had normal middle-ear function, normal hearing sensitivity (pure tone thresholds) and present OAEs. DPOAEs and TEOAEs were performed at specific time intervals to determine the test-retest reliability, and an OAE-gram was generated by combining DPOAE and TEOAE test results. These measures were performed as an initial measure (M1), after five minutes (M2), after an hour (M3), after a week (M4) and after a month (M5). The test-retest reliability was calculated by analysing the statistics quantitatively. Results were analysed to determine the variance between each participant individually at different time intervals, and also to determine the variance of the group as a whole at different time intervals. Through this analysis high test-retest reliability between the different tests was proven. Inferential statistical Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) proved that the test-retest reliability of DPOAEs, TEOAEs and the OAE-gram (generated through a combination of the DPOAE and TEOAE results) was consistent throughout all periods of testing. The highest correlation existed between immediate re-measurements, while the largest difference was observed between M1 and M3. High test-retest reliability for all tests conducted at different time intervals from original measures were confirmed. Recommendations that arose from this study are further research in the normal hearing population for better generalization, research into specific variables between subjects, research with longer time between different tests, as well as the test-retest reliability in pathologic populations.
Dissertation (MCommunication Pathology)--University of Pretoria, 2017.