An evidence-based systematic review of amplitude compression in hearing aids for school-age children with hearing loss

Ryan W. McCreery, Rebecca A. Venediktov, Jaumeiko J. Coleman, Hillary M. Leech

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: Two clinical questions were developed: one addressing the comparison of linear amplification with compression limiting to linear amplification with peak clipping, and the second comparing wide dynamic range compression with linear amplification for outcomes of audibility, speech recognition, speech and language, and self- or parent report in children with hearing loss. Method: Twenty-six databases were systematically searched for studies addressing a clinical question and meeting all inclusion criteria. Studies were evaluated for methodological quality, and effect sizes were reported or calculated when possible. Results: The literature search resulted in the inclusion of 8 studies. All 8 studies included comparisons of wide dynamic range compression to linear amplification, and 2 of the 8 studies provided comparisons of compression limiting versus peak clipping. Conclusions: Moderate evidence from the included studies demonstrated that audibility was improved and speech recognition was either maintained or improved with wide dynamic range compression as compared with linear amplification. No significant differences were observed between compression limiting and peak clipping on outcomes (i.e., speech recognition and self-/parent report) reported across the 2 studies. Preference ratings appear to be influenced by participant characteristics and environmental factors. Further research is needed before conclusions can confidently be drawn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-294
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Amplification
  • Amplitude compression
  • Children
  • Compression limiting
  • Evidence-based systematic review
  • Wide dynamic range compression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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