These children presented with active otitis media and were not feeling up to the manual testing task. I turned to conditioning them with play audiometry and was able to complete the testing needed on all four children in under an hour—solo. I was initially skeptical, as I was in full view of the child and was using one hand to assist with conditioning and the other to operate the tablet simultaneously. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my proximity did not distract the child from the task at hand. I employed false taps to replicate pressing the stimulus button and did not observe false-positive responses to those movements.

There are precautions to take to ensure good reliability. For example, an effective conditioning phase: less talking, more demonstrating with visual reinforcement in the form of no-sound clapping, a thumbs-up, and smiles and nods. False taps are important to ensure the child is abiding by the listening task and not visual cues. Tablet audiometry facilitates adding solo-play audiometry to your mobile test offering.

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