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Pseudohypacusis in a military population

Pseudohypacusis in a military population

Ear, Nose, and Throat Journal 70(10): 710-712

Pseudohypacusis, or non-organic hearing loss, was investigated as a possible marker for poor adaptation within the military environment. Eighteen active duty military patients who demonstrated pseudohypacusis were identified retrospectively from among all patients who underwent audiological evaluation at Naval Hospital, San Diego, during 1988. A control group of 33 patients with normal hearing was also randomly selected from the same population. Age, rank and military status one to two years later were compared, showing a significant difference between the groups in the rates of premature separation from the military. The results suggest that pseudohypacusis in a new recruit is a strong indicator that the subject may be separated prematurely from active duty in the military; this implies that it may be cost-effective for these patients to be separated from duty as soon as the diagnosis is made. Other trends in the data are discussed, and the literature is reviewed. The problem of pseudohypacusis as a method of increasing Veterans Association benefits is discussed. The signs of pseudohypacusis are important for all clinicians involved in audiological testing in order to make a correct diagnosis, avoid costly medical workup and refer affected patients for psychiatric evaluation when indicated.

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Accession: 033019982

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PMID: 1782881

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