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July 1979

Assessment of Impaired Hearing: A Critique and a New Method,

Arch Otolaryngol. 1979;105(7):439. doi:10.1001/archotol.1979.00790190065017

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This provocative volume reviews prevailing theory and practice in the assessment of adult hearing impairment and also proposes a new approach to hearing assessment in adults.

The book is divided into three parts: "Emergence of Current Assessment Practice," "Problems in Assessment of Impaired Hearing," and "A Redirection in Hearing Loss and Handicap Assessment." A critique of tests and systems that are used to establish the severity of hearing impairment for legal compensation, treatment, and rehabilitation are included in this text. This critique covers and details technical issues, such as reliability, predictive validity, "normal" hearing, recruitment, and "functional" hearing loss.

The author critically examines the fundamental methodology and philosophy entailed in approaching hearing loss as a purely physical or acousticfunctional problem; Noble then recommends a broader, social-psychological conception of hearing and its impairment.

In the final section, a new method of hearing assessment, based on self-report techniques of hearing measurement, is

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