The accuracy of IOS device-based uHear as a screening tool for hearing loss: A preliminary study from the middle East

Rashid Al-Abri*, Mustafa Al-Balushi, Arif Kolethekkat, Deepa Bhargava, Amna Al-Alwi, Hana Al-Bahlani, Manal Al-Garadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine and explore the potential use of uHear as a screening test for determining hearing disability by evaluating its accuracy in a clinical setting and a soundproof booth when compared to the gold standard conventional audiometry. Methods: Seventy Sultan Qaboos University students above the age of 17 years who had normal hearing were recruited for the study. They underwent a hearing test using conventional audiometry in a soundproof room, a self-administered uHear evaluation in a side room resembling a clinic setting, and a self-administered uHear test in a soundproof booth. The mean pure tone average (PTA) of thresholds at 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz for all the three test modalities was calculated, compared, and analyzed statistically. Results: There were 36 male and 34 female students in the study. The PTA with conventional audiometry ranged from 1 to 21 dB across left and right ears. The PTA using uHear in the side room for the same participants was 25 dB in the right ear and 28 dB in the left ear (3–54 dB across all ears). The PTA for uHear in the soundproof booth was 18 dB and 17 dB (1–43 dB) in the right and left ears, respectively. Twenty-three percent of participants were reported to have a mild hearing impairment (PTA > 25 dB) using the soundproof uHear test, and this number was 64% for the same test in the side room. For the same group, only 3% of participants were reported to have a moderate hearing impairment (PTA > 40 dB) using the uHear test in a soundproof booth, and 13% in the side room. Conclusion: uHear in any setting lacks specificity in the range of normal hearing and is highly unreliable in giving the exact hearing threshold in clinical settings. However, there is a potential for the use of uHear if it is used to rule out moderate hearing loss, even in a clinical setting, as exemplified by our study. This method needs standardization through further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-145
Number of pages4
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Data accuracy
  • Hearing tests
  • Screening
  • UHear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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