Speech perception in medico-legal assessment of hearing disabilities

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Objective: Examination of Danish data for medico-legal compensations regarding hearing disabilities. The study purposes are: (1) to investigate whether discrimination scores (DSs) relate to patients’ subjective experience of their hearing and communication ability (the latter referring to audio-visual perception), (2) to compare DSs from different discrimination tests (auditory/audio-visual perception and without/with noise), and (3) to relate different handicap measures in the scaling used for compensation purposes in Denmark. Design: Data from a 15 year period (1999–2014) were collected and analysed. Study sample: The data set includes 466 patients, from which 50 were omitted due to suspicion of having exaggerated their hearing disabilities. Results: The DSs relate well to the patients’ subjective experience of their speech perception ability. By comparing DSs for different test setups it was found that adding noise entails a relatively more difficult listening condition than removing visual cues. The hearing and communication handicap degrees were found to agree, whereas the measured handicap degrees tended to be higher than the self-assessed handicap degrees. Conclusions: The DSs can be used to assess patients’ hearing and communication abilities. The difference in the obtained handicap degrees emphasizes the importance of collecting self-assessed as well as measured handicap degrees.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)547-555
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • Denmark
  • Medico-legal assessment
  • audio-visually
  • auditory
  • communication handicap
  • discrimination tests
  • hearing disability
  • hearing handicap
  • interview
  • speech perception
  • Noise, Occupational/adverse effects
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Discrimination, Psychological
  • Humans
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments/psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Noise/adverse effects
  • Speech Intelligibility
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced/diagnosis
  • Cues
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Occupational Diseases/diagnosis
  • Compensation and Redress
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Audiometry, Speech
  • Visual Perception
  • Insurance, Disability
  • Speech Perception


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