Auditory test result characteristics of subjects with and without tinnitus

James A. Henry, Kenneth E. James, Kimberly Owens, Tara Zaugg, Edward Porsov, Grayson Silaski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Tinnitus is the perception of sound that does not have an acoustic source in the environment. Ascertaining the presence of tinnitus in individuals who claim tinnitus for compensation purposes is very difficult and increasingly becoming a problem. This study examined the potential to observe differences in loudness and pitch matches between individuals who experience tinnitus versus those who do not. This study follows a previous pilot study we completed that included 12 subjects with and 12 subjects without tinnitus. The current study included 36 subjects with and 36 without tinnitus. Results of this study revealed no significant differences between groups with regard to decibel sensation level (SL) loudness matches and within-session loudness-match reliability. Between-group differences revealed that the tinnitus subjects had (1) greater decibel sound pressure level loudness matches, (2) better between-session loudness-match reliability, (3) better pitchmatch reliability, and (4) higher frequency pitch matches. These findings support the data from our pilot study with the exception that decibel SL loudness matches were greater for the tinnitus subjects in the pilot study. Tinnitus loudness and pitch matching may have some value in an overall battery of tests for evaluating tinnitus claims.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-632
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Compensation
  • Hearing disorders
  • Loudness matching
  • Loudness perception
  • Malingering
  • Pitch matching
  • Pitch perception
  • Rehabilitation
  • Reliability of results
  • Tinnitus
  • Tinnitus diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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