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August 1960

Some Methodological Problems in Identification of Functionally Deaf

Author Affiliations

From the Chicago Branch, Neuropsychiatric Research Laboratory, and Audiology and Speech Correction Clinic, Veterans Administration West Side Hospital.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1960;72(2):240-247. doi:10.1001/archotol.1960.00740010245016

The problem of audiological inconsistency, while of great interest and concern to otologists and audiologists, continues to be an elusive one. Practical aspects of the problem have arisen largely in Veterans Administration settings in relation to adjudication procedures, but more recently interest has widened as claims for hearing loss increase in industry.

This paper is based on a pilot study which attempted to identify the functionally deaf person from the population of veterans service-connected for hearing disability. The term functional deafness will be used here to mean an auditory malfunction for which either no organic basis can be found or where the degree of hearing loss is not consonant with the extent of the organic condition. While the study failed to achieve its aim, a number of important findings emerged relevant to methodological problems inherent in such studies. Prior to planning the study to be described here the major interest