Robert Dobie is a highly experienced and respected international authority in the field of medical-legal assessment in the context of noise induced hearing loss. This book has been written for a broad audience, including otolaryngologists, audiologists and members of the legal profession.

Unlike other texts in this field, the language is very accessible without too much emphasis on engineering terms or mathematics; something that I have often found difficult to understand. This book includes chapters on acoustics and the scope of audiometry (including exaggerated hearing loss); impairment, handicap and disability; and the effects of different types of noise, age and diseases on hearing loss, together with an outline of the factors that determine individual susceptibility to noise and age.

The chapter on diagnosis and allocation is particularly well written and many worked examples are provided. Tables are provided at the end of the book that report typical noise levels and exposures from different sources of noise. Dobie’s style is to present the subject matter in a fair, complete and up-to-date manner. Dobie acknowledges many current controversies in this field, particularly those relevant for the assessment of hearing handicap, including a rationale for defining standard calculations based on different frequency inclusion, together with defining low and high fences. My only criticism is that of a UK reviewer.

Whilst the underlying science is universal, many of the legal procedures presented are unique for a North American audience. When compared with other similar textbooks, I would have no hesitation in recommending Dobie’s book to both beginners and experts in this field.

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John S Phillips

FRCS(ORL-HNS), Ear, Nose and Throat Department, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust, Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

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