The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate abbreviated versions of the Word Auditory Recognition and Recall Measure (WARRM) as part of an iterative process in the development of a feasible test for potential future clinical use.
The three original WARRM (O-WARRM) randomizations were modified by altering the presentation paradigm. Instead of presenting 5 trials per set size with set size increasing from 2 to 6 as in the O-WARRM (n = 100 words), the experimental WARRM (E-WARRM) paradigm consisted of one trial from each of set sizes 2 to 6 to create a “run” (n = 20 words) with each randomization consisting of 5 runs (n = 100 words). A total of 24 younger listeners with normal hearing and 48 older listeners with hearing loss (OHL) were administered 1 randomization of the O-WARRM and 1 different randomization of the E-WARRM.
The recognition and recall performances on the O-WARRM and all versions of the E-WARRM (five individual runs and overall) were similar within each listener group, with the younger listeners with normal hearing outperforming the OHL listeners on all measures. Correlation analyses revealed moderate to strong associations between the abbreviated WARRM runs and the O-WARRM for the OHL listener group. Hierarchical regression modeling suggested that run 1 of the E-WARRM was a good predictor of O-WARRM performance and that adding additional runs did not improve the prediction. Taken together, these findings suggest that administering one run from the E-WARRM warrants further examination for clinical use. Additional analyses revealed equivalent scores on all five runs from the three E-WARRM randomizations for both listener groups.
Abbreviated versions of the O-WARRM were developed as part of this study. This was accomplished by modifying the original presentation paradigm and creating 15 unique “runs” among the original 3 randomizations. The resulting 15 runs could be considered 15 unique and abbreviated WARRM lists that have potential, in the future after further studies are conducted to establish important properties, for clinic use. The abbreviated WARRM lists may be useful for quantifying auditory working memory of listeners with hearing loss during the audiologic rehabilitation process.