We describe a method for deriving criteria for hearing impairment in the elderly based on self-reported handicap. Using the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) and Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly - Screening (HHIE-S) version as functional measures of handicap, the analysis proceeded in five steps: 1. Audiometric thresholds at various frequencies were inter-correlated. This was done both within and between ears. 2. Better and poorer ear thresholds were determined for each frequency, and these were correlated with the HHIE-S and SIP scores. 3. Using the HHIE-S and SIP scores as dependent variables, stepwise multiple linear regressions were used to select the frequencies that explained the most variance in the functional scales. 4. Using the HHIE-S and SIP as standards, receiver operating curves were constructed for each frequency to select the threshold level that provided the best test accuracy. 5. The newly-derived criteria were then compared against four other "traditional" criteria of hearing impairment. In general, the newly-derived criteria combined a relatively low frequency with a relatively high frequency, with the low frequency being functionally more important. Depending on the functional scale used, the threshold level was in the 25 to 35-dB range for the lower frequencies and 40 to 45-dB for the higher frequencies. These features provide a suitable compromise to the current debate over which threshold levels comprise the best discrimination of aged persons who are hearing-impaired. Future research should focus on developing consensus standards for functional hearing impairment and handicap in the elderly.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Journal of the American Academy of Audiology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1990|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing