Discrimination scores used in medico-legal assessment of hearing disabilities
Objective: Examination of Danish data for medico-legal compensations re-garding hearing disabilities. The purposes are: 1) to investigate whether discrimination scores (DSs) relate to patients’ subjective experience of their hearing and communication ability, 2) to compare DSs from different dis-crimination tests (auditory/audio-visual perception and without/with noise), and 3) to discuss the handicap scaling used for compensation purposes in Denmark. Design: Data for 466 patients from a 15 year period (1999-2014) were analysed. From the data set 50 patients were omitted due to suspicion of exaggerated hearing disabilities. Results: The DSs were found to relate well to the patients’ subjective experience of their speech perception abili-ty. As expected the least challenging test condition (highest DSs) was the audio-visual test without an interfering noise signal, whereas the most chal-lenging condition (lowest DSs) was the auditory test with noise. The hearing and communication handicap degrees were found to agree, whereas the measured handicap degree tended to be higher than the self-assessed handi-cap degree. Conclusions: The DSs can be used to assess patients’ hearing and communication abilities. In order to get better agreements between the measured and self-assessed handicap degrees it may be considered to revise the handicap scaling.
Salomon, G. and Parving, A. (1985). “Hearing disability and communication handicap for compensation purposes based on self-assessment and audiometric testing,” Audiology, 24, 135-145.
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