Psychology

Psychology

Cognitive Screening Tools: The 6-CIT

Sweetow (2015) reports that it may be useful to include a cognitive screening measure “….as part of the audiological and communication needs assessment.” He reports that there are many validated screening measures available, such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Clock Drawing, Letter-Number Sequencing, the Reading Span Test, and the six-question Cognitive Impairment Test (aka “6-CIT”). Performing the 6-CIT is quick and easy.                

The examiner asks:

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Tinnitus News and Notes: 2015

It is estimated that some 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus.  Indeed, the “80/80 Rule” (Beck, 2012) states that approximately 80 percent of patients who have hearing loss have tinnitus and some 80 percent of patients who have tinnitus have hearing loss,“thus indicating a high correlation, but certainly not causation….” (Beck et al, 2014). 

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Cochlear Implants, Brain Reorganization, and Hearing Loss: Interview with Anu Sharma, PhD

Douglas L. Beck, AuD, spoke with Dr. Sharma about cochlear implants, brain reorganization after hearing loss, and early stage hearing loss (mild hearing loss) correlating with brain changes.

Academy: Good morning, Anu. Always great to chat with you!

Sharma: Hi, Doug. Nice to speak with you, too.

Academy: Anu, if I recall, you earned your doctorate from Northwestern University?

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MarkeTrak IX—Update 2015

Abrams and Kihm (2015) report that the latest MarkeTrak (MT9) is a significant departure from the eight preceding surveys. Specifically, they used an online survey technique to survey 17,000 households including some 1,000 people who wear hearing aids, and 2,000 people with hearing loss, who do not own hearing aids. 

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Mental Health, Subjective Well-Being, and Meniere’s Disease

The largest study ever published to investigate the relationships among Meniere’s Disease, an individual’s mental health (MH), and subjective well-being (SWB) was recently published by Tyrrell et al (2015). The authors reported on 1,376 people who self-reported having Meniere’s Disease (MD) through the United Kingdom’s (UK) Biobank and compared these results to 500,000 controls.

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Considerations for Dying Patients

Opinion Editorial by Douglas L. Beck, AuD

The Board of Editors of Scientific American (June 2015) weren’t specifically addressing hearing loss. Yet, as I read their opinion/analysis (page 10) titled “A Last Right for Dying Patients,” many issues and considerations overlapped with what we (physicians and professionals in hearing health care) address daily, and I thought I’d offer up some of their thoughts (and mine) for your consideration.

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Noise and Obesity

There is limited previous literature linking noise exposure to being overweight or obese. However, noise may be a physiological stressor and may trigger the release of cortisol, which may lead to elevated levels of fat storage. A new publication by Pyko et al (2015) reports that 3,127 people exposed to road noise at or above 45 dBA, 241 people exposed to rail noise, and 1,108 people exposed to aircraft noise (at or above the same levels) demonstrated increased weight gain.  

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Is “Mediocrity” the New Standard Protocol?

Based on returned surveys from 1,141 experienced hearing aid users and 884 new users, Kochkin et al (2010) reported that "quality control at the point of dispensing has not kept pace with technological improvements…there is great variability in the hearing aid fitting process, and it appears that critical aspects of the fitting protocol are not followed, despite general consensus among all the professional societies…." 

The authors noted the top 10 key mistakes made by dispensing professionals included:

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Audiology Issues 2015: The View from 50,000 feet

Opinion Editorial by Douglas L. Beck AuD


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Issues in Invisible Hearing Loss

Beck (2015) reported that when a patient presents with normal (or abnormal) pure-tone thresholds and their chief complaint is the inability to understand speech clearly in quiet or noise, a thorough diagnostic battery is called for. “The goal is not to simply document peripheral hearing loss, rather, the goal is to diagnose or describe the auditory-based communication disorder (i.e., a communication disorder manifested via audition).”  He notes that a simple audiogram cannot document, estimate, reflect, or quantify speech-in-noise problems, neural or auditory processing difficulties, percei

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