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Article
April 1952

SPEECH AUDIOMETRY IN PRACTICAL USE

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1952;55(4):456-464. doi:10.1001/archotol.1952.00710010468009
Abstract

THE GREAT practical value of speech audiometry is its usefulness in checking the validity of both air- and bone-conduction pure-tone audiograms in diagnosis. To understand this statement, one must review briefly some of the basic facts underlying the tests. Emphasis will be placed upon concepts of importance to the clinician, whose interest is of necessity less broad than that of a research audiologist, who is a specialist in psychoacoustics. These concepts include (1) the corroborative value of spondee threshold tests in relation to air-conduction pure-tone audiometry, as well as the limitations of spondees; (2) above-threshold phonetically balanced monosyllabic discrimination ("PB" word tests, usually at 100-db. sound-pressure level) in the evaluation of pure-tone bone-conduction curves and "nerve deafness."

Since a well-designed audiometer can be utilized as a high-quality "master" hearing aid, the instrument offers the otologist a simple means of giving patients a factual opinion1 and scientific assistance in this

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