Loudness Discomfort Levels in US Veterans: Perception & Reality

Research Paper Title

Subjective Reports of Trouble Tolerating Sound in Daily Life versus Loudness Discomfort Levels.

Background

A retrospective analysis of tonal and speech loudness discomfort levels (LDLs) relative to a subjective report of sound tolerance (SRST) was performed to explore the relation between the 2 commonly used clinical measures.

Methods

Tonal LDLs and SRST were measured for 139 U.S. military veterans who were recruited into a study providing intervention for tinnitus. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were computed to assess the relation between the tonal and speech LDLs and the SRST.

Results

Only weak correlations were found between tonal LDLs and SRST and between speech LDLs and SRST.

Conclusions

If LDLs ratings of SRST measured the same phenomenon, the measures would be strongly negatively correlated. The weak correlations found between the measures suggest that LDLs do not accurately represent a patient’s ability to tolerate sound in daily life.

Reference

Zaugg, T.L., Thielman, E.J., Griest, S. & Henry, J.A. (2016) Subjective Reports of Trouble Tolerating Sound in Daily Life versus Loudness Discomfort Levels. American Journal of Audiology. 2016 Oct 21:1-5. doi: 10.1044/2016_AJA-15-0034. [Epub ahead of print].

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