Comparing criteria of hearing impairment in the elderly: A functional approach

F. H. Bess, M. J. Lichtenstein, S. A. Logan, M. C. Burger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We determined and compared the association of four commonly used audiometric criteria of hearing impairment with two functional outcome measures in 152 aged persons screened in primary care medicine practices. The outcome measures were the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP, a measure of global function), and the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly-Screening Version (HHIE-S, a communication-specific measure of functional impairment). There were five main findings. (1) The four criteria of hearing loss were not independent. (2) The criterion of loss chosen depends on the functional measure of impairment. (3) Functional hearing impairment may also be classified by the number of criteria met. (4) A large subset (21%) of aged persons met one criterion but had little in the way of communicative or global dysfunction. (5) Hearing handicap as measured by the HHIE-S was directly associated with global dysfunction as measured by the SIP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-802
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Disability
  • Elderly
  • Function
  • Handicap
  • Hearing impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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