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Non-organic hearing loss has been of interest to researchers for a long time. In this study the authors compared a loudness rating measured in relation to the sound level for 1000 Hz in normal hearing patients and patients diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss and non-organic hearing loss. They noticed that the loudness function of patients with non-organic hearing loss differs significantly from those obtained from other groups of participants. The main difference was that the threshold estimated from the loudness function was significantly lower than that obtained from the pure tone audiometry and/or the sudden increase in loudness rating for a specific tone level. These results are interesting and, if researched further, may possibly be used to support diagnoses of non-organic hearing loss. However, there are several aspects that could be discussed in more detail. The participants in the sensorineural hearing loss group were adults, while the non-organic hearing loss group consisted of both children and adults. Both groups of participants with hearing loss, sensorineural and non-organic, were mainly females. There is no information given about the normal hearing participants apart from their hearing status. It may also be interesting to discuss whether the loudness function differs for different categories of non-organic hearing loss. There is no clear information given on whether participants with non-organic hearing loss were feigning or the functional hearing loss was psychogenic.

Loudness functions for patients with functional hearing loss.
Shiraki S, Sato T, Ikeda R, et al.
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Joanna Lemanska

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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