Questionable Use of “Nonorganic” in Norrix et al. (2017), “Estimating Nonorganic Hearing Thresholds” Purpose The author of this letter to the editor expresses concern about the use of the word “nonorganic” as a source of confusion in terminology. Specifically, this is in response to the December 2017 American Journal of Audiology article, “Estimating Nonorganic Hearing Thresholds Using Binaural Auditory Stimuli” (Norrix, Rubiano, & ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   September 12, 2018
Questionable Use of “Nonorganic” in Norrix et al. (2017), “Estimating Nonorganic Hearing Thresholds”
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James E. Peck
    University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to James E. Peck: jepec1em@bellsouth.net
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   September 12, 2018
Questionable Use of “Nonorganic” in Norrix et al. (2017), “Estimating Nonorganic Hearing Thresholds”
American Journal of Audiology, September 2018, Vol. 27, 366-367. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-18-0022
History: Received January 18, 2018 , Revised April 6, 2018 , Accepted April 18, 2018
 
American Journal of Audiology, September 2018, Vol. 27, 366-367. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-18-0022
History: Received January 18, 2018; Revised April 6, 2018; Accepted April 18, 2018
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The author of this letter to the editor expresses concern about the use of the word “nonorganic” as a source of confusion in terminology. Specifically, this is in response to the December 2017 American Journal of Audiology article, “Estimating Nonorganic Hearing Thresholds Using Binaural Auditory Stimuli” (Norrix, Rubiano, & Mueller, 2017). “Nonorganic” is a source of confusion in terminology, because it can be used in two different ways. One way can mean to say there is no hearing loss. When used in this sense, it is illogical because it is qualifying a hearing loss believed not to exist. The second usage means there is a real disorder of function, but the organs themselves are not damaged and the basis is unknown. In the place of “nonorganic,” I have proposed “false hearing loss.” “Nonorganic” might carry a negative connotation that “false” might not. Many instances of false hearing loss stem from physical–mental health disturbances. Audiologists must stay alert to signs of psychosocial difficulty and refer for further evaluation accordingly.

Conclusion “False” hearing loss is a more appropriate term than “nonorganic” hearing loss.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access