Evid Based Nurs 7:56 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.2.56
  • Assessment (screening or diagnosis)

Review: the whispered voice test is accurate for detecting hearing impairment in children and adults

 Q Is the whispered voice test accurate for detecting hearing impairment in children and adults?


GraphicData sources:

Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and Science Citation Index (to June 2002); the web (for unpublished theses); reference lists; and authors.

GraphicStudy selection and assessment:

2 reviewers independently selected cross sectional studies in any language if they evaluated the whispered voice test; the reference test, audiometry, was given to ⩾80% of participants; and sensitivity and specificity were reported (or calculable).


sensitivity and specificity.


8 English language studies were included. 4 studies included 256 adults (age range 17–96 y). The prevalence of hearing impairment ranged from 26–61%. 3 studies used similar techniques for the whispered voice test and a 30 dB positivity …

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