Objective To evaluate the sound localization capabilities of patients with unilateral, profound sensorineural hearing loss who had been treated with either a bone-anchored hearing device (Baha BP100) or a TransEar 380-HF bone-conduction hearing device.
Study Design Nonrandomized, prospective study.
Setting Tertiary referral private practice.
Patients Patients with unilateral, profound sensorineural hearing loss treated with a BP100 (n = 10) or a TransEar (n = 10) device. Patients wore the hearing device for at least 1 month and had normal hearing in the contralateral ear. Ten patients with normal, bilateral hearing were used for control.
Interventions Sound localization of a 3-second recorded sound with and without a TransEar or Baha device was assessed using an array of 7 speakers at head level separated by approximately 45 degrees. The recorded sounds were that of a barking dog or a police siren. Randomized trials of 4 presentations per speaker were given for each hearing condition.
Main Outcome Measures Sound localization was assessed by the accuracy in response and the generalized laterality of response.
Results The mean accuracy of speaker localization was 24% and 26% for the aided condition using the BP100 and TransEar devices, respectively. The mean accuracy of laterality judgment was 59% and 69% for the aided condition using the BP100 and TransEar devices, respectively. These results were only slightly better than chance. There was no statistical difference in localization accuracy or laterality judgment between the BP100 and TransEar groups.
Conclusion Neither the BP100 nor the TransEar device improved sound localization accuracy or laterality judgment ability in patients with unilateral, profound sensorineural hearing loss compared with performance in the unaided condition.