Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Threshold Estimation in the Preschool Period: The PEST Procedure

Author(s) Sandra Trehub, PhD
Bruce A Schneider, PhD
Laurel J Trainor, PhD
Barbara A Morrongiello, PhD
Volume 20
Number 3
Year 1996
Page(s) 173-179
Language English
Keywords auditory
Abstract Preschool children's thresholds for narrow-band noises centred at 500 and 4000 Hz were estimated on two occasions with an adaptive procedure commonly used with adults (PEST). Averaged individual thresholds for 3-,4-, and 5-year-old children were comparable to groups thresholds obtained previously with the method of constant stimuli. As expected, thresholds were higher for 500-Hz than for 4000-Hz signals. Moreover, the thresholds of 3-year-olds were significantly higher than those of 4-, and 5-year-olds, which did not differ from one another. Only the thresholds of 3-year-olds improved significantly from the first to the second day of testing. The present version of the PEST procedure, which necessitates a single test session of 30 trials or less, generates reasonably accurate threshold estimates for 4- and 5-year-olds, but underestimates the abilities of 3-year-olds.

Les seuils auditifs des enfants d'âge préscolaire pour les bruits à bande étroite de 500 Hz et de 4 000 Hz ont été estimés à deux reprises grâce à une méthode d'adaptation fréquemment utilisée pour l'adulte (PEST). Les seuils auditifs moyens des enfants de trois, de quatre et de cinq ans sont comparables aux seuils moyens obtenus précédemment selon la méthode du stimulus constant. Tel que prévu, les seuils est plus élevés pour les signaux de 500 Hz que pour les signaux de 4 000 Hz. D'autre part, les seuils auditifs sont sensiblement plus élevés chez les enfants de trois ans que chez ceux de quatre et de cinq ans, qui ont des seuils identiques. Toutefois les seuils des enfants de trois ans s'améliorent de façon appréciable entre la première et la deuxième journée de l'épreuve. La version actuelle de la méthode PEST, qui exige une seule séance d'un maximum de 30 essais, débouche sur des estimations raisonnablement précises du seuil auditif des enfants de quatre ou de cinq ans, mais sous-estime les aptitudes des enfants de trois ans.
Record ID 175
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