Dr. Markus Meis, Oldenburg
“A new evaluation tool for hearing aids in everyday situations: Video-based analysis of interpersonal communication behaviour”
In two consecutive studies, we investigated the extent to which different hearing aid algorithms will make hearing impaired persons change their behaviour (e. g. physical affection, nonverbal gestures, face-to-face interaction, proxemics, and kinesics) in everyday communication situations. In the first study, we were able to show that binaural beamformers induced more verbal and face-to-face communication than monaural beamformers. In the second study, we observed that beamformers resulted in significantly more face-to-face communication than the omnidirectional mode. Furthermore, a benchmark comparison of three beamformers revealed that the beamformer with the lowest speech intelligibility restricted participants to communicate with their direct neighbours only. By contrast, the beamformer with the best speech intelligibility caused interaction behaviour to be extended to the more distant dialogue partners. The study results suggest that inadequate hearing aid algorithms will cause significant participation restriction in relevant communication situations, which, in the long run, will lead to a decrease in quality of life.