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J Audiol Otol > Epub ahead of print
DOI: https://doi.org/10.7874/jao.2021.00416    [Epub ahead of print] Published online November 16, 2021.
Efficacy of the Digit-in-Noise Test: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Chanbeom Kwak1,2  , Jae-Hyun Seo3  , Yonghee Oh4  , Woojae Han1,2 
1Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea
2Laboratory of Hearing and Technology, Research Institute of Audiology and Speech Pathology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea
3Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
4Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
Correspondence  Woojae Han ,Tel: +82-33-248-2216, Fax: +82-33-256-3420, Email: woojaehan@hallym.ac.kr
Submitted: July 19, 2021  Accepted after revision: September 4, 2021
Abstract
Background and Objectives
Although the digit-in-noise (DIN) test is simple and quick, little is known about its key factors. This study explored the considerable components of the DIN test through a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Materials and Methods
After six electronic journal databases were screened, 14 studies were selected. For the meta-analysis, standardized mean difference was used to calculate effect sizes and 95% confidence intervals.
Results
The overall result of the meta-analysis showed an effect size of 2.224. In a subgroup analysis, the patient’s hearing status was found to have the highest effect size, meaning that the DIN test was significantly sensitive to screen for hearing loss. In terms of the length of the presenting digits, triple digits had lower speech recognition thresholds (SRTs) than single or pairs of digits. Among the types of background noise, speech-spectrum noise provided lower SRTs than multi-talker babbling. Regarding language variance, the DIN test showed better performance in the patient’s native language(s) than in other languages.
Conclusions
When uniformly developed and well validated, the DIN test can be a universal tool for hearing screening.
Keywords: Hearing; Digits; Screening; Audiometry; Test in noise
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