• A survey of 1,109 native Indian children in five communities in British Columbia was conducted to determine incidence of middle ear pathologic features and to compare impedance and pure-tone audiometry as hearing screening methods. Survey teams included a public health nurse, two otologists, and two audiologists.
On ear, nose, and throat (ENT) otoscopic examination, the incidence of middle ear disease requiring treatment was 12%. Disease was most prevalent in the preschool- and primary school-aged children.
Pure-tone audiometry yielded 62% normal and 19% abnormal results. Nineteen percent of the children could not be tested by this method.
Impedance audiometry yielded 54% normal and 38% abnormal results on the stringent criteria used to define the parameters of normality. Eight percent of the children could not be tested.
Since there was a high incidence of middle ear pathologic features in the preschool group of children who could not be successfully evaluated by pure-tone audiometry, it is suggested that further investigation of impedance audiometry be undertaken in order to define parameters that will provide the most reliable referral criteria.
Roberts ME. Comparative Study of Pure-Tone, Impedance, and Otoscopic Hearing Screening Methods: A Survey of Native Indian Children in British Columbia. Arch Otolaryngol. 1976;102(11):690–694. doi:10.1001/archotol.1976.00780160086010
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