The influence of frequency-dependent hearing loss to unaided APHAB scores

J. Löhler*, B. Akcicek, B. Wollenberg, T. Kappe, P. Schlattmann, R. Schönweiler

*Corresponding author for this work
6 Citations (Scopus)


Hearing loss can be measured by pure-tone and speech audiometry. The subjective hearing impairment can be assessed using questionnaires. The APHAB determines this for four typical hearing situations. It has not been researched previously whether a particular frequency-specific hearing loss leads to a particular unaided APHAB score in one of the subscales or not. Clarification could be helpful using the unaided APHAB as an instrument for primary diagnostics of hearing loss independently of whether hearing aids were subsequently fitted or not. A total of 4546 records from a database were analysed; the average age of the subjects was 69.3 years. Using a multivariant mixed linear model, a possible correlation was examined between a frequency-specific hearing loss (0.5–8.0 kHz) and particular unaided APHAB scores for its subscales. Furthermore, it was determined whether the subject’s gender has a corresponding impact. There was no evidence of gender-specific dependence of the unaided APHAB scores. For the EC scale frequencies above 0.5 kHz, for the RV scale all frequencies and for the AV scale the frequencies at 1.0 and 2.0 kHz showed a significant correlation between hearing loss and the APHAB score. For each decibel of hearing loss there was an average rise in the APHAB score for the EC and RV scale of approximately 0.2 percentage points and an average decrease in the AV scale of 0.1 percentage points for each frequency. For the BN scale there was no evidence of this kind of correlation. The very varied possibility between individuals compensating for hearing loss in situations with background noises could be that there is no correlation between frequency-specific hearing loss and an associated unaided APHAB score. The described frequency-specific influence of hearing loss to the EC and RV score could be explained by fewer compensating possibilities for the patients in these specific hearing situations than for the BN scale described. Using the unaided APHAB form in primary diagnostics of hearing impairment is helpful for understanding individual problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)3587-3593
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2016

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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