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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Middle ear resonant frequency values in geriatric subjects : a multifrequency tympanometric study Leblond, Catherine Louise


Based on anatomical changes known to occur in the middle ear with aging, the purpose of this study was to compare middle ear resonant frequency values of geriatric subjects to those of young adults. Measurements were obtained with two different methods: sweep frequency tympanometry and discrete multifrequency tympanometry. Results from the two methods of measurement were also compared. Furthermore, intra-subject, inter-judge, and longitudinal reliability were examined for each measurement method. Results showed no significant difference between the two age groups. However, resonant frequency values obtained with the two measurement methods differed significantly (p < 0.05). Intra-subject and longitudinal reliability measures were significantly higher for the discrete multifrequency method than for the sweep frequency method. Inter-judge reliability was 95% for both measurement methods. We therefore concluded that age does not have a significant effect on middle ear resonant frequency values. It follows that normative resonant frequency data can be applied to adults of all age groups. Furthermore, the method used to measure resonant frequency has a significant effect on the values obtained, and comparisons of resonant frequency data should not be made across measurement methods. Although we were unable to determine which measurement method is most valid, the discrete multifrequency method is more reliable within subjects and over time.

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