Pseudohypacusis: False and Exaggerated Hearing Loss

First Edition

James E. Peck

Details: 256 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-397-0

© 2011 | Available


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There is presently no other book devoted solely to pseudohypacusis, or false and exaggerated hearing loss, despite its continued significance in audiological caseload. Despite many attempts by researchers, it remains extremely difficult to assess the emotional, financial, and other motivations that result in feigned or exaggerated hearing loss. Individuals often cannot understand their own psychological reasons for particular behaviors. Additionally, accurate voluntary audiometric results surely cannot be expected from those whose motivations may be considered 'dishonest'. So, in the final analysis, these important contributory factors are left to conjecture. However, this does not lessen the responsibility of the audiologist to determine the true hearing status of all patients regardless of their levels of active cooperation. That said, patient management becomes the primary issue. All of these factors are addressed in appropriate detail in this book.

In Pseudohypacusis: False and Exaggerated Hearing Loss, Dr. Peck has amassed information on the subject of this condition in ways never before accomplished. He has included all related subjects and has treated the different theories and beliefs in impartial and logical ways. This is both a practical text with adequate 'how to' application and a scholarly piece. Each subject is carefully examined and exhaustively covered in unbiased ways with clear and direct writing. This text belongs on the shelves of practicing clinicians and should be added to the reading lists of courses taken by candidates for the Doctor of Audiology degree.


"As Dr. Frederick N. Martin notes in the Foreword, there is no other book that examines the issue of feigned or exaggerated hearing loss (HL) in such depth. In Pseudohypacusis False and Exaggerated Hearing Loss, Dr. Peck provides a comprehensive review and analysis of the literature on the identification, management, and psychological issues pertaining to false and exaggerated hearing loss (FEHL) and does so in a manner that is well organized and easy to read. He also presents many of his own valuable techniques and insights for assessment and management gained from 40-plus years as a clinician, teacher, and researcher. . . . All audiologists will find it to be a valuable addition to their library whether they spend their lives in the clinic, the classroom, the laboratory, or all three."
John Lutolf, Ph.D., CCC-A, FAAA (retired), Formerly with the Audiology and Speech Pathology Section, VA New Jersey Health Care System, East Orange, NJ, USA, Ear & Hearing, July/August 2012 (Vol 33, Issue 4) (July 2012)

". . . the only book available that is dedicated entirely to this clinical population. The author provides a complete review of the topic from terminology to psychological aspects that can be associated with FEHL . . . The tone and readability are consistent across chapters, including the chapters on legal aspects and objective measures that were first-authored by guest contributors. Each chapter begins with an outline and ends with a well-written summary . . . this book was an easy read on a difficult topic. It is relevant for several stages of a graduate audiology curriculum, for the practicing clinician who may be changing to a new job with a higher occurrence of FEHL and may need a refresher, or for the clinician who feels the need for a different perspective on this population."
Kim Schairer, Department of Audiology, James H Quillen VA Medical Center, International Journal of Audiology (2012) 

"This is an easy reading 206 page paperback (followed by no fewer than 14 pages of references). Inevitably the text reflects US practice, but I was surprised at how easily the lessons do cross the pond. As the Foreword states, Non Organic Hearing Loss (my term), generally will rate a chapter in most audiology text books, but this does seem to be, as claimed, the first book devoted to the subject. ..."

The opening chapter on Terminology is very thought provoking. I had never appreciated the subtle distinctions between malingering and factitious or between faking and feigning. Correcting any misuse in a courtroom can surely only enhance one's expert credentials.... Later chapters take the reader through the first suspicions, conventional audiometry, behavioural testing and, of course, all those objective measures so beloved of neurophysiologists. A chapter on legal-forensic aspects provides generic advice for the expert witness in any country's legal system. The 'tips for testimony' are, alone, worth the price of the book."
Liam Flood, FRCS, FRCSI, Journal of Laryngology & Otology (2014)

"[This book] provides an understanding of possible patient paradigms for individuals who present with [false or exaggerated hearing loss]. The case studies are simplified and get their points across. There is also discussion about the roles of age, sex, and financial compensation that may influence FEHL. The explanations of special behavioral testing, such as the Stenger test, are described in a step-by-step manner. The chapters are concise and easy to navigate, which makes this a great introduction or reference for audiologists or ear, nose, and throat practices."
Mahindra A. Ramdhanie, AuD, Annals of Otology, Rhinology, & Laryngology (2015)

"Those wanting to know all about uncooperative patients, those who are either purposefully or possibly unconsciously not responding to acoustic stimuli during audiological evaluation, who demonstrate pseudohypacusis...will love this text...The writing is clear, concise and well organized..."
Ross J. Roeser, International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology (July 2015)

Chapter 1. Terminology
Chapter 2. Historical Perspective
Chapter 3. Adults
Chapter 4. Children
Chapter 5. Signs and Risk Factors
Chapter 6. Conventional Behavioral Audiometry
Chapter 7. Special Behavioral Tests
Chapter 8. Objective Measures of Auditory Function
Chapter 9. Legal-Forensic Aspects
Chapter 10. Psychosocial Considerations
Chapter 11. Management: Interviewing, Counseling, Referring

James E. Peck

Dr. James E. Peck, PhD, is associate professor emeritus in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences and Disorders at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He received his doctorate from Vanderbilt University in 1972. He has worked as a teacher and clinician in university and medical settings. Dr. Peck was an editorial consultant and associate editor for journals of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and served on the Association's Legislative Council. The Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association presented him with its Outstanding Clinical Achievement award and the Honors of the Association. He has a career-long interest in false and exaggerated hearing loss.

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