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Behavioural hearing tests may be difficult to perform for people with dementia. The aim of this study was to investigate if the cortical automatic threshold estimation (CATE) may be used as an alternative to the pure tone audiometry test. Six of 14 participants with diagnosed dementia results were included in this study. Hearing thresholds were measured in both ears for four frequencies, 0.5, 1, 2 and 4kHz. There was a strong correlation, over 70%, between CATE and behavioural thresholds for the three higher frequencies. However, there was only moderate correlation for 500Hz which was explained by a higher than recommended ambient noise level. In general, the obtained results were in agreement with previous studies investigating correlation between auditory evoked potentials and PTA thresholds. There was an exception with CATE being lower than PTA thresholds for 2000kHz that authors could not find a reason for. Authors indicated that a very important advantage of using the CATE method is that it may decrease the time needed for a hearing test, which is a very important factor while testing hearing in people with dementia. Although findings of this study are promising, the sample of participants was very low and some aspects must be investigated further. Authors concluded that this study should be repeated for a larger sample consisting of at least 30 ears.

Is cortical automatic threshold estimation a feasible alternative for hearing threshold estimation with adults with dementia living in aged care?
Bott A, Hickson L, Meyer C, et al.
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Joanna Lemanska

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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