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Whispered Voice Test (Geriatric) Cheat Sheet by

test     assessment     medical     hearing     voice     whispered

Geriatric Assessment Tools:­Sensory Perception

The Whispered Voice Test is a quick, simple, and accurate test for hearing loss that general practi­tioners can use in a primary care setting. This test can help identify patients who may need to be referred to a specia­list. No special equipment is needed to perform this test; in fact, it compares favorably with using a portable audios­cope.
Author:: Herman Snellen, MD
Source: Macphee GJA, Crowther JA, McAlpine CH. A simple screening test for hearing impairment in elderly patients. Age Ageing. 1988;1­7(5­):3­47-351.

Performing the Whispered Voice Test:

1. Stand behind the patient’s field of vision. This eliminates the possib­ility of lip-re­ading.
2. Gently occlude and rub the external auditory canal of the non-tested ear.
3. Ask the patient to repeat a set of 3 different random numbers (e.g., 6,1,9) presented to the tested ear at four decreasing levels of loudness:
conversational voice at 6 inches and at 2 feet from the ear, and
whispered voice at 6 inches and at 2 feet from the ear. Exhale completely prior to testing with whispered voice.


Passing score is given if the patient can repeat all three numbers correctly at each level of loudness or achieve greater than 50% success over three successive triplet sets.
Failure to pass at each level of voice testing is considered a positive test for hearing impair­ment.
Failure to hear a whisper at 2 feet indicates hearing loss and may be the most discri­minant test of the set.


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