Conditioned Play Audiometry


Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA) is a hearing test designed to access the hearing for very young children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. Behavioral conditioning through games is used to get the children to respond to sounds.

A machine known as an audiometer is used to test hearing threshold levels. CPA makes a game out of the hearing test by replacing the feedback device with toys such as blocks and pegs. CPA is used to measure hearing sensitivity to determine a child’s type and degree of hearing loss. The whole process takes place in soundproof booths or sound treated rooms.

How does Conditioned Play Audiometry work?

When working with children, everything should be about fun and games. There are several games that Conditioned Play Audiometry relies on to test children’s hearing. These include:

  • Blocks or balls: The screener teaches the child to place a block or a ball in a basket whenever he/she hears a tone.
  • Pegs: The screener teaches the child to place a peg in the hold whenever he/she hears a sound.
  • Rings: The screener teaches the child to place a ring over a cone after hearing a beep.
  • Tablet Games: A child plays games on an iPad or tablet and responds to sounds.

There are two parts to Conditioned Play Audiometry: conditioning and screening.

  • Conditioning: The audiologist will tell the child that they are going to play a game to prepare them for the tests. The main focus of conditioning is to get the child to understand the game and able to perform the task as quickly as possible. Once the child fully understands how to play the game, screening begins.
  • Screening: The audiologist places headphones on the child. The tests from conditioning continue, and the intensity of the sounds is reduced until the child’s minimum hearing threshold is received.

Tests are continued until the audiologist has a complete set of data regarding each of the child’s ears.