Intelligibility of medically related sentences in quiet, speech-shaped noise, and hospital noise.
- Tessa Bent, Melissa Baese-Berk, Erica Ryherd, Sydney Perry
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This article investigates two potential barriers to successful communication between healthcare providers and patients: the acoustic environment and the linguistic characteristics of the speech. Young adult listeners were presented with four sentence types in three noise types (i.e., quiet, speech-shaped noise, and hospital noise). Medical terminology varying in word frequency and familiarity was included in three sentence types. Listeners had more difficulty understanding the sentences in noise with no significant differences between the two noise types. Performance was particularly poor for sentences with low familiarity words in noise, suggesting that patients may have challenges recognizing certain orally communicated medical information in noisy hospital settings.