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Patients receiving a bone-anchored hearing aid have well-documented improvements in their quality of life and audiometric performance. However, the relationship between audiometric measurements and subjective improvement is not well understood.
Adult patients enrolled in the Nova Scotia bone-anchored hearing aid programme were identified. The pure tone average for fitting the sound-field threshold, as well as the better and worse hearing ear bone conduction and air conduction levels, were collected pre-operatively. Recipients were asked to complete the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing questionnaire; their partners were asked to complete a pre- and post-bone anchored hearing aid fitting Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults questionnaire.
Forty-eight patients who completed and returned the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing questionnaire had partners who completed the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults questionnaire. The results from the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing questionnaire correlated with the sound-field hearing threshold post-bone-anchored hearing aid fitting and the pure tone average of the better hearing ear bone conduction (total Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale to the pre-operative better hearing ear air curve (r = 0.3); worse hearing ear air curve (r = 0.27); post-operative, bone-anchored hearing aid-aided sound-field thresholds (r = 0.35)). An improvement in sound-field threshold correlated only with spatial abilities. In the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults questionnaire, there was no correlation between the subjective evaluation of each patient and their partner.
The subjective impressions of hearing aid recipients with regards to speech reception and the spatial qualities of hearing correlate well with pre-operative audiometric results. However, the overall magnitude of sound-field improvement predicts an improvement of spatial perception, but not other aspects of hearing, resulting in hearing aid recipients having strongly disparate subjective impressions when compared to those of their partners.
To compare the image quality provided by rigid laryngoscopes versus flexible distal-chip laryngoscopes when documenting the same laryngeal pathology.
This paper reports a prospective single-blind study. Ten early stage glottic cancer cases were selected. Photographs of the pathologies were taken using both rigid and flexible distal-chip laryngoscopes (a total of 20 photographs). Nineteen clinicians were asked to review the laryngoscopic photographs; the clinicians were provided with a worksheet, which included questions regarding the clinical description, photograph quality and overall satisfaction with the images obtained. Clinicians' responses to the worksheet questions were then analysed.
The overall accuracy rate for lesion sidedness, anatomical sub-site involvement, anterior commissure involvement and tumour staging were 94.7 per cent, 46.6 per cent, 53.7 per cent and 47.1 per cent respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in terms of the accuracy rates, photograph quality or overall satisfaction with the photographs obtained by either modality.
There were no statistically significant differences demonstrated in overall clinical accuracy or perceived image quality between the use of the rigid or flexible endoscopes when interpreting images of early glottic cancer.
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