Speech discrimination performance in multiple sclerosis dataset

Pippa Iva, Joanne Fielding, Meaghan Clough, Owen White, Gustavo Noffs, Branislava Godic, Russell Martin, Anneke van der Walt, Ramesh Rajan

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The most complex interactions between human beings occur through speech, and often in the presence of background noise. Understanding speech in noisy environments requires the integrity of highly integrated and widespread auditory networks likely to be impacted by multiple sclerosis (MS) related neurogenic injury. Despite the impact auditory communication has on a person's ability to navigate the world, build relationships, and maintain employability; studies of speech-in-noise (SiN) perception in people with MS (pwMS) have been minimal to date. Thus, this paper presents a dataset related to the acquisition of pure-tone thresholds, SiN performance and questionnaire responses in age-matched controls and pwMS. Bilateral pure-tone hearing thresholds were obtained at frequencies of 250 hertz (Hz), 500 Hz, 750 Hz, 1000 Hz, 1500 Hz, 2000 Hz, 4000 Hz, 6000 Hz and 8000 Hz, and hearing thresholds were defined as the lowest level at which the tone was perceived 50% of the time. Thresholds at 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz and 4000 Hz were used to calculate the four-tone average for each participant, and only those with a bilateral four tone average of ≤ 25 dB HL were included in the analysis. To investigate SiN performance in pwMS, pre-recorded Bamford-Kowal-Bench (BKB) sentences were presented binaurally through headphones at five signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) in two noise conditions: speech-weighted noise and multi-talker babble. Participants were required to verbally repeat each sentence they had just heard; or indicate their inability to do so. A 33-item questionnaire, based on validated inventories for specific adult clinical populations with abnormal auditory processing, was used to evaluate auditory processing in daily life for pwMS. For analysis, pwMS were grouped according to their Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score as rated by a neurologist. PwMS with EDSS scores ≤ 1.5 were classified as ‘mild’ (n = 20); between 2 and 4.5 as ‘moderate’ (n = 16) and between 5 and 7 as ‘advanced’ (n = 10) and were compared to neurologically healthy controls (n = 38). The outcomes of the SiN task conducted in pwMS can be found in Iva et al., (2021). The present data has important implications for the timing and delivery of preparatory education to patients, family, and caregivers about communication abilities in pwMS. This dataset will also be valuable for the reuse/reanalysis required for future investigations into the clinical utility of SiN tasks to monitor disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106614
Number of pages8
JournalData in Brief
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Audiometry
  • Auditory perception
  • Biomarkers
  • Central auditory processing
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Speech discrimination

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