Interexaminer reliability of otoscopic signs and tympanometric measures for older adults.

Cruickshanks Lab // Kleins Lab // Publications // Aug 01 1996

PubMed ID: 8827919

Author(s): Nondahl DM, Cruickshanks KJ, Wiley TL, Tweed TS, Klein BE, Klein R. Interexaminer reliability of otoscopic signs and tympanometric measures for older adults. J Am Acad Audiol. 1996 Aug;7(4):251-9.

Journal: Journal Of The American Academy Of Audiology, Volume 7, Issue 4, Aug 1996

To accurately classify hearing loss and otic disorders among older adults, examiners must be able to consistently assess otoscopic signs and perform middle-ear screening tympanograms. As part of a population-based study of hearing loss in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, the interexaminer reliability of otoscopic examinations and screening tympanograms was evaluated using 45 replicate examinations. Data from 1941 participants 48 to 91 years of age were used to compare otoscopic and tympanometric results. Overall agreement for nine otoscopic signs ranged from 73 percent (vascularity) to 100 percent (drainage). There were small examiner differences in tympanometric measures of equivalent ear-canal volume (Vea) and tympanogram width. No significant differences were observed for peak compensated static acoustic admittance and tympanogram peak pressure. Our findings suggest that examiners can be trained to consistently and accurately assess otoscopic signs and obtain reliable tympanometric results.