A Comparison of Self-Reported Hearing Loss and Audiometry in a Cohort of New York Farmers The New York State Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance was conducted to assess the health status and safety practices among year-round adult farmers and farm residents in New York State and included a telephone interview survey of 1,727 persons from 552 farms. To determine the extent to which self-reported ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2001
A Comparison of Self-Reported Hearing Loss and Audiometry in a Cohort of New York Farmers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marta I. Gomez
    New York State Department of Health Troy
  • Syni-An Hwang
    New York State Department of Health Troy
  • Lubica Sobotova
    New York State Department of Health Troy
  • Alice D. Stark
    New York State Department of Health Troy
  • John J. May
    New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health Cooperstown
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: mig01@health.state.ny.us
  • Currently affiliated with the Institute of Hygiene, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
    Currently affiliated with the Institute of Hygiene, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2001
A Comparison of Self-Reported Hearing Loss and Audiometry in a Cohort of New York Farmers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2001, Vol. 44, 1201-1208. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/093)
History: Received February 19, 2001 , Accepted September 20, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2001, Vol. 44, 1201-1208. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/093)
History: Received February 19, 2001; Accepted September 20, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 41

The New York State Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance was conducted to assess the health status and safety practices among year-round adult farmers and farm residents in New York State and included a telephone interview survey of 1,727 persons from 552 farms. To determine the extent to which self-reported hearing loss is in agreement with audiometry, a subset of 376 participants who completed a hearing loss interview and pure-tone audiometry was analyzed. Thirty-six percent of the participants had self-reported hearing loss, defined as at least some difficulty hearing in one or both ears. The prevalence of audiometric hearing impairment, defined as a threshold average greater than 25 dB hearing level, was 9% for the binaural low-frequency average (500, 1000, and 2000 Hz), 29% for the binaural mid-frequency average (1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz), and 47% for the binaural high-frequency average (3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hz). Agreement between self-report and audiometry was highest for the binaural mid-frequency average (kappa statistic 55%, sensitivity 77%, and specificity 82%). Self-reported hearing loss was found to be a moderately good measure of hearing impairment. We conclude that a simple questionnaire focusing on hearing difficulty is a useful and valid tool for conducting epidemio-logic studies of farmers. Whenever possible, a substudy using audiometry should be conducted.

Acknowledgment
This study was partially supported by funding from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access