Research Study: A quantitative study on the effect of Sound Therapy on hearing loss
Participants are sought for a research study in Perth, Western Australia to examine the efficacy of Joudry Sound Therapy for hearing loss over a 12 month period. The study will commence in July 2012.
The aim of this study is to quantify the measurable improvement in hearing function offered by the Joudry Sound Therapy listening program. A measurable improvement would be one identifiable via differences in an audiogram taken before the listening program commences versus one taken at the completion of the therapy.
Anecdotal evidence from clinical case studies suggests that Sound Therapy based on the Tomatis Method, devised by ENT specialist Alfred Tomatis, may be beneficial in rectifying hearing loss. In a survey undertaken by Sound Therapy International from 1991 to 1994, 56% of 123 respondents who used Joudry Sound Therapy for hearing loss reported that they had experienced an improvement.
Despite the number of positive reports about the effectiveness of Sound Therapy in restoring hearing function, there does not appear to have been much research undertaken in this area. Research into the efficacy of the Tomatis Method has primarily concentrated on language and developmental disorders (Van Jaarsveld, 1973; Van Jaarsveld, 1974; Van Wyk, 1974; De Bruto, 1980; Gilmor, 1982; Rourke & Russel, 1982; Wilson et al, 1982; De Bruto 1983; Stutt, 1983; Weiss, 1985; Bell, 1991; Rintel & Rintel 1995; Gilmor 1999), and while in all these studies the success of therapy has been attributed to improving listening, only one study to date appears to have tested actual improvements in hearing (Economou & Evangelopoulou 2001).
To date, the efficacy of Sound Therapy in specifically reversing hearing loss has primarily been based on anecdotal evidence and the subjective perceptions of people using Sound Therapy. Few people have had their hearing retested after using Sound Therapy to quantify what improvement they have received. This study will evaluate any changes in hearing function via an audiogram taken by a qualified audiometrist.
A minimum of 30 participants who have hearing loss will be sought to participate for a total of 12 months. Those with tinnitus will be excluded from the study.
Subjects will use the Joudry Sound Therapy Listening Foundation program, a program of classical music which has been filtered by the Electronic Ear so that the ear is presented with alternating frequencies, on a MINI MX2 player with Sennheiser OMX180 headphones. All listeners will follow the same listening program (i.e. listening to the albums for the same length of time and in the same order).
The listening program will be used for four hours a day over a period of 12 months. At the end of each day, subjects will log how many hours they have used the program, the volume of the music, and any observations about their hearing.
Face-to-face follow ups will be conducted at Totally Sound Health / Sound Therapy Perth in Canning Vale, Western Australia, at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months, to assess compliance with following the listening program as set out.
An audiogram will be taken before commencing the listening program, and at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months into the program.
A questionnaire will also be used before commencing and every 3 months thereafter to gauge if any perceived changes in hearing match changes reflected in an audiogram.
The audiograms and questionnaires will be completed at Totally Sound Health / Sound Therapy Perth in Canning Vale.
Cost to Participants
This study is not receiving external funding, so there will be a $599 charge to participants, payable in full at the first interview, to cover the out of pocket expenses for the equipment.
Participants will receive:
- 5 hearing tests (worth $250)
- Sound Therapy Listening Foundation Program on Mini MX2 player (worth $599)
- 7 consultations with the researcher (worth $420)
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Bell, E. (1991) An ethnographic report and evaluation of the implementation of Audio-Psycho-Phonology (Sound Therapy) in the support of Timothy, a year two child, over a period of three weeks. Griffith University Thesis unpub.
De Bruto, C.M.E. (1980). Audio-psycho-phonology and the mentally retarded child: an empirical investigation. Paper presented at the First Congress on Audio-psychophonology. Potchefstroom.
De Bruto, C.M.E. (1983). Oudiopsigofonologiese opleiding en die erg geestesverrraagde kind: ‘n Empiriese ondersoek. Ongepubiiseerde M.-graad-skripsie, Potchefstroom Universiteit vir CHO: Potchefstroom.
Economou, A & Evangelpoulou, T. (2001). The use of sound training technology in mild-moderate hearing loss, Proceedings of the 4th European Conference on Noise Control, EURONOISE 2001.
Gilmor. T.M. (1982). Results of a survey of children's performance on a variety of psychological tests before and after completing the Tomatis program. Rexdale, Ontario: MDS Health Group Ltd.
Gilmor, T.M. (1999). The Efficacy of the Tomatis method for Children with Learning and Communication Disorders. International Journal of Listening. 13(12).
Rintel, E. & Rintel, D. (1995). Sound Therapy for the Learning Disabled Child: The effect of high frequency filtered music on listening and learning ability. Full article available online.
Rourke, B.P. & Russel. D.L. (1982). The Tomatis method applied to older children: An evaluation. Rexdale, Ontario: MDS Health Group Ltd. Paper presented at the Opening Communication Conference, Toronto, November 1982.
Stutt, H.A. (1983). The Tomatis method: A review of current research. Montreal: McGill University.
Van Jaarsveld, P.E. (1973). Die terapeutiese effek van die Elektroniese oar van Tomatis op ‘n groep hakkelaars: ‘n Opvolgondersoek. Suid-Afrikaanse Sielkundige, 3(1), 1-9.
Van Jaarsveld, P.E. (1974). I-Iakkel en ‘n waardering van die tegniek van Tomatis by die remediëring daarvan. Ongepubliseerde doktorale proefskrif, Potchefstroom Universiteit vir CHO: Potchefstroom.
Van Wyk, E.M. (1974) 'n Ondersoek na ouditiewe dominansie by 'n groep hakkelaars. Ongepubliseerde M.-graad-skripsie, Potchefstroom Universiteit vir CHO: Potchefstroom.
Weiss, W. (1985). Long-term average spectra of continuous speech before and after Tomatis audio-vocal training. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 78 (S1) p. S56
Wilson, B.C., Iavociello, J.M., Metlay, W., Risucci, D.A., Rosati, R. & Palmaccio, T. (1982). Tomatis project final report. Paper presented at the Opening Communication Conference, Toronto, Ontario.