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February 18, 1950

INTERPRETATION OF HEARING TESTSWith Special Reference to Conduction Deafness

Author Affiliations


From the Otological Research Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1950;142(7):466-469. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910250014004

The paper on the interpretation of hearing tests presented at the meeting of this section a year ago, in Chicago,1 could well have carried the subtitle, General Considerations. Some of the important nonmedical interpretations that have been made of hearing tests were mentioned, and certain of the broad principles and physiologic facts basic to medical uses of hearing tests were stated. Among the points made were: (1) Nothing is gained clinically by making hearing tests and cannot be interpreted with reasonable certainty in terms of causative lesions. (2) No histopathologic evidence exists to support or to refute the diagnostic interpretations customarily made of the data obtained by most of the elaborate, time-consuming technics that have been devised and advocated in recent years for testing various aspects of the hearing function. (3) Often a diagnosis, so-called, is in reality only a description of the kinds of hearing defects found by

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