Hearing problems which are not correlated with actual pathology of the hearing mechanism have been referred to variously as "functional" losses of hearing, "psychogenic" losses, or "malingering." From the audiologist's point of view, none of these terms is completely satisfactory. "Functional" is frequently used in other contexts to refer to a loss of function which may be on an organic basis, and thus it is probably not the proper term to apply to a hearing problem which may have no organic correlate. "Psychogenic" and "malingering" refer to the presumed absence or presence of a conscious element of feigning as a part of the symptom-picture. While the psychiatrist may be able to differentiate between an unconscious variety of hearing loss, which might be considered as a conversion reaction or so-called hysterical deafness, and the conscious type of assumed loss, which is properly termed malingering, the audiologist is usually in no
DIXON RF, NEWBY HA. Children with Nonorganic Hearing Problems. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1959;70(5):619–623. doi:10.1001/archotol.1959.00730040631013
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