TITLE

A Comparison of Self-Reported Hearing Loss and Audiometry in a Cohort of New York Farmers

AUTHOR(S)
Gomez, Marta I.; Hwang, Syni-An; Stark, Alice D.; Sobotova, Lubica; May, John J.
PUB. DATE
December 2001
SOURCE
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Dec2001, Vol. 44 Issue 6, p1201
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The New York State Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance was conducted to assess the health status and safety practices among year-round adult farmers and farm residents in New York State and included a telephone interview survey of 1,727 persons from 552 farms. To determine the extent to which self-reported hearing loss is in agreement with audiometry, a subset of 376 participants who completed a hearing loss interview and pure-tone audiometry was analyzed. Thirty-six percent of the participants had self-reported hearing loss, defined as at least some difficulty hearing in one or both ears. The prevalence of audiometric hearing impairment, defined as a threshold average greater than 25 dB hearing level, was 9% for the binaural low-frequency average (500, 1000, and 2000 Hz), 29% for the binaural mid-frequency average (1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz), and 47% for the binaural high-frequency average (3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hz). Agreement between self-report and audiometry was highest for the binaural mid-frequency average (kappa statistic 55%, sensitivity 77%, and specificity 82%). Self-reported hearing loss was found to be a moderately good measure of hearing impairment. We conclude that a simple questionnaire focusing on hearing difficulty is a useful and valid tool for conducting epidemiologic studies of farmers. Whenever possible, a substudy using audiometry should be conducted.
ACCESSION #
5772399

 

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