Test-retest reliability of low-level evoked distortion product otoacoustic emissions

Andrew Stuart, Amy L. Passmore, Deborah S. Culbertson, Sherri M. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine test-retest reliability of low-level evoked distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) as a function of L1, L2 level; f2 frequency; and test condition. A predictive relationship between these variables and the presence/absence of DPOAE responses was also examined. Method: Sixteen normal-hearing young adults participated. DPOAEs were evoked to 12 tones with f2 frequencies ranging from 1500 Hz to 7546 Hz at 4 L2 levels between 45 dB SPL and 30 dB SPL. Four test conditions were employed: (a) initial test, (b) retest without probe removal, (c) retest with probe reinsertion, and (d) retest with probe reinsertion by a second tester. Results: L1, L2 level and f2 frequency were statistically significant (p < .0001) predictors of a DPOAE response (i.e., the presence of a DPOAE response was more likely to be observed at higher L 1, L2 levels and lower f2 frequencies regardless of test condition). DPOAE levels were significantly affected by L1, L2 level and f2 frequency (p < .0001) but not by test condition. Intra- and intertester test-retest differences were not significantly different. Conclusions: The prevalence of missing responses coupled with large intersubject variability and intrasubject test-retest variability are a detriment to the clinical utility of DPOAEs evoked with low-level stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-681
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Distortion product otoacoustic emissions
  • Reliability
  • Test-retest differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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