NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Audiogram notches in noise-exposed workers.
Rabinowitz-PM; Galusha-D; Slade-MD; Dixon-Ernst-C; Sircar-KD; Dobie-RA
Ear Hear 2006 Dec; 27(6):742-750
OBJECTIVES: Diagnostic criteria for noise-induced hearing loss include the audiometric notch, yet no standardized definition exists. This study tested whether objective notch metrics could match the clinical judgments of an expert panel. DESIGN: A panel of occupational physicians, otolaryngologists, and audiologists reviewed audiograms of noise-exposed workers. In a two-sample process, the panel judged whether a notch was present and whether hearing loss had progressed in a notch pattern. Quantitative notch metrics were compared against expert decisions. RESULTS: At least five of six experts agreed about notch identification in 71 and 72% of the cases in the two samples, and agreement about notch progression was 61 and 67%. Notch depth and professional specialty appeared to affect notch judgments. Despite this variability, a notch metric showed excellent agreement with expert notch consensus in each sample (94.7 and 96.6%; kappa = 0.88 and 0.92). CONCLUSIONS: Audiogram notch metrics can agree with expert clinical consensus and assist in the surveillance of noise-exposed workers.
Audiological-testing; Audiometry; Auditory-system; Hearing-acuity; Hearing-level; Hearing-threshold; Hearing-impairment; Hearing-loss; Hearing-disorders; Surveillance-programs
Assistant Professor P. M. Rabinowitz, Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program, Yale University School of Medicine, 135 College Street, Suite 392, New Haven, CT 06510
Issue of Publication
Ear and Hearing
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division