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December 25, 1991

Delta Hearing Handicap and Presbycusis Software (V13)

Author Affiliations

Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, Mo

Washington University School of Medicine St Louis, Mo

JAMA. 1991;266(24):3488. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470240110048

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This software package for the Macintosh computer is a stand-alone program that performs the computations for determination of percent hearing handicap. It accepts audiometric thresholds at six frequencies and computes percent handicap according to one of six methods (American Medical Association-1979; AMA-1959; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-Federal Employees Compensation Act, the state of Wisconsin, the state of Oregon, and the British Society of Audiology). Although the basic concept of the program is correct, and such a program can be useful, the implementation of this particular program has too many problems to warrant its recommendation.

An interesting and useful function is the incorporation of corrections for presbycusis. The program accepts keyboard input of the patient's age, sex, and audiometric thresholds. It considers presbycusis effects to be additive with noiseinduced hearing loss (a widely accepted concept) and computes the percent handicap after subtracting the effects of presbycusis. This is a