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January 1976

A Proposed Audiometric Symbol System for Scholarly Publications

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1976;102(1):33-36. doi:10.1001/archotol.1976.00780060079010

The clinical use of symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms to indicate historical data, examination findings, or functions is somewhat unique to the health field, especially neuroscience. Ophthalmologists, otologists, audiologists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons have had to adopt many of these methods of recording data in order to communicate meaningfully with themselves or with others and to convey information as clearly and succinctly as possible. Unfortunately, however, there have been few standards or guidelines to follow. Consequently, to one health specialist, PND may mean postnasal drip, and to another it may mean paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. Clearly, one meaning has more significance in terms of seriousness than the other. Symbols in audiometric testing likewise may mean one thing in one laboratory and something entirely different in another.

The following paper highlights the problems with present systems for recording audiometric data and proposes a much simpler and more lucid symbol system for use in scholarly publications as well as in clinical work. The system proposed by Dr Jerger makes understanding of the findings and the explanation of them much easier.

There is also less opportunity for error in recording the data, and there should be less confusion on later review of the findings and comparisons with more recently obtained audiometric information on the same patient.–Ed.

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