Handzic Jadranka

Handzic Jadranka

University Hospital Center Zagreb and Medical School Zagreb,Croatian

Title: Speech Recognition Disorder In Children With Otitis Media With Effusion


Jadranka Handžić graduated in 1984y. at Medical School University of Zagreb, took Master degree at 1987y. And PhD at 1989y. Since 1987y she spent her residential program of Otolaryngology than diploma at 1989 as specialist of Otolaryngology and 2003y as sub-specialist of Audiology. At 2000-2001 she spent academic year on Fulbright Scholarship at Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Centre and Dental School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh and Children’s Hospital Pittsburgh U.S.A Department for Paediatric Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A at position as Adjunct Associate Professor of Oral Medicine and Pathology and at

2001-2002 as Visiting Assistant Professor at  Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Centre, Dental School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.

2001-2002 she had Lester Hamburg- Research Fellowship in Department for Paediatric Otolaryngology    Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Medical School University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A. From 2002 she was Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, University Clinical Hospital Centre and Medical School “Zagreb” and from 2008 Professor of Otolaryngology and Audiology. She is author and co-author of 16 articles in Current Contents, lecturer of 30 presentations on International conferences, reviewer in Journal and Annals of Maxillofacial Surgery, Director of 7 post-graduate studies of Otolaryngology and Audiology, author and co-author of 4 books, author of 3 international projects.


Objectives.  Otitis media with effusion is characterized with conductive hearing (CHL) loss which affects a child’s ability to recognize and memorize spoken language and develop auditory working memory. The aim of the study was to find out; if peripheral hearing deficit cause speech recognition disorders, possible difference in speech recognition while hear binaurally vs. monaurally for left and right ear respectively, possible gender and ear side dependence.

 Method: Clinical randomized study included right-handed 48 girls and 95 boys (mean age of 6y) tested in age subgroups; 4-7, 8-12 years, with OME and CHL and no previous otologic surgeries. Tonal audiometry estimated medians of left and right ears (M) for 500Hz,1000Hz,2000Hz,4000Hz and average hearing level for speech frequencies (AHL) and speech audiometry score (SDS) measured threshold  of speech recognition while hear binaurally in free sound field and  through the left or right ear respectively by headphones. All of the children undergo speech and language screening tests.

Results: Tonal audiometry showed MAHL on left ears (24.3dB) girls higher than on right ears (21.9 dB) and also higher than on of left (20.6 dB) and right ears (20.5 dB) in boys. Boys show no difference in average of AHL between left vs. right ears. Girls showed higher (M) mean for 500Hz (26.7dB) and 2000Hz (mean, 20.5dB) on left (21.8dB) ears than on their right (20.5dB) ears and both ear sides in boys. Girls have speech recognition threshold (20.8dB) and score of 100% (46.2dB) recognition on higher level than boys (13.6dB and 36.8dB). The worst score for speech threshold and 100% of recognition reach test by headphones on left ears in girls.

Conclusions: More severe CHL for restrictive frequencies particularly for 4000Hz caused more speech recognition disturbances in girls than boys and starts at earlier age. Boys have higher frequency of OME but smaller rate of disorders of speech discrimination at preschool age and less severe CHL and SDS damage than girls. Girls CHL showed left side lateralization of peripheral hearing loss for higher frequencies which correlate with lateralization of central auditory processing.