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Conditioned Play Audiometry

play test Image

Purpose
Assesses hearing acuity using conditioned responses to sound by engaging in play-oriented activities. Appropriate for testing children from 30 months through 5 years of age.

Procedure
The child is conditioned to perform a play activity (i.e., dropping a block in a bucket) whenever he or she hears a sound. Once the child is conditioned, threshold of hearing can be determined by decreasing signal intensity. Speech reception threshold, or SRT, testing may also be completed.

Results
This test is usually performed with earphones to obtain ear-specific and frequency-specific information about hearing acuity. Results define the nature and degree of hearing impairment.

Sample test results

Conditioned Play Sample Test Result

Limitations
Results obtained may depend on the child's developmental level.

Resources
Buttross, S. L., Gearhart, J. G., & Peck, J. E. (1995). Early identification and management of hearing impairment. American Family Physician, 51(6), 1437-1447.

Stelmachowicz, P. G., & Gorga, M. Audiology: Early Identification and Management of Hearing Loss.

In Cummings, Fredrickson, Harker, Krause, Richardson, Schuller (eds.) Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 3rd Edition. Mosby-Year Book, Inc., pp 401-417. 1998. This chapter provides an overview of early identification and quantification of hearing loss, as well as management strategies and amplification.