Perceptions of Hearing Classifications Determined by Audiologists

Lafreniere, Kaitlin
Degree of hearing loss is the extent of a person's inability to hear pure tones in an audiometric evaluation. There are multiple scales to report degree of hearing loss with no standardization. The purpose of the study is (1) to determine what scale for degree of hearing loss audiologists use to describe their audiograms and (2) determine whether audiologists use the configuration classification system they do because it is a published classification of degree of hearing loss system, classification based on pre-service education, in service experience, or some other method. The two most popular methodologies for why participants define degree of hearing loss the way they do were using a published classification system (given by 42.14% of respondents) and personal preference (given by 37.74% of respondents) The two texts referenced for degree of hearing loss classification the most were: Northern and Downs (2002), and Jerger and Jerger (1980). Interestingly, these ranges for pediatric and adult hearing loss ranges are not the ranges given in Northern and Downs nor Jerger and Jerger texts, but most resembled Goodman (1965). The present lack of standardization can cause information to be misconstrued and misinterpreted by professionals working with the patient who do not have access to the original audiogram.
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