American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Fitting Hearing Aids Using Clinical Measures of Loudness Discomfort Levels: An Evidence-Based Review of Effectiveness

Gustav Mueller, H., & Bentler, R. A. (2005).
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 16(7), 461-472.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental, or descriptive research investigating the clinical use of loudness discomfort levels.

Question(s) Addressed:

Are the clinical measurements of loudness discomfort level (LDL) predictive of aided satisfaction with loudness for high inputs in the real world?

Population: Adults with hearing impairment.

Intervention/Assessment: Measurement of loudness discomfort levels

Number of Studies Included: 3

Years Included: 1980 - 2005



  • Management
    • Hearing
      • Hearing Aid Fitting - Loudness Discomfort Levels - "In summary, the evidence shown here tends to support the use of clinically measured frequency-specific LDLs for selecting the real ear maximum output of hearing aids. However, the dearth of studies, the low statistical power of the studies, and the level of evidence prevents us from making a strong recommendation supporting this clinical procedure. Research on this topic employing randomized controlled trials would be a useful addition to this body of literature” (p. 470).

Keywords: Hearing Aids

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Added to Compendium: January 2012

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