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December 1967

Medico-legal Aspects of Office Hearing Evaluations

Author Affiliations

New Orleans
From the Department of Otolaryngology, Tulane Medical School, New Orleans.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;86(6):645-649. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760050647008

FOR THE ROUTINE problems seen in the otolaryngologist's office simple pure tone audiometry will generally suffice. However, among the patients seen during office evaluations there are those who will ultimately seek financial compensation for hearing loss through litigation. It is therefore imperative that the otolaryngologist view his audiometric findings with caution and a certain amount of suspicion. When litigation is pending, a diagnosis based upon faulty audiometrics can be most embarrassing.

The standard test battery utilized in office audiometrics should consist of responses to pure tone air, bone, and speech stimuli. If the otolaryngologist assumes that the responses obtained in fact do represent the patient's true hearing level, a fairly predictable pattern should emerge. When marked deviations within scores of the test battery arise, these should serve as a warning for the otolaryngologist. The major issue then resolves itself in determining whether the derived values reflect a true loss, exaggeration

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