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Issue 179 - 27 April 2011

Noise Harms More Than Our Ears
Experts agree that continued exposure to noise above 85 dBA, over time, will eventually harm hearing. In general, the louder the sound, the less time required before hearing will be affected.

Articles - International Journal of Audiology

1. International classification of functioning, disability, and health core sets for hearing loss: A discussion paper and invitation
By Danermark, Berth et al. International Journal of Audiology, Apr 2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4: p256-262
The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) has adopted a multifactorial understanding of functioning and disability, merging a biomedical paradigm with a social paradigm into a wider understanding of human functioning. Altogether there are more than 1400 ICF-categories describing different aspects of human functioning and there is a need to developing short lists of ICF categories to facilitate use of the classification scheme in clinical practice. To our knowledge, there is currently no such standard measuring instrument to facilitate a common validated way of assessing the effects of hearing loss on the lives of adults. The aim of the project is the development of an internationally accepted, evidence-based, reliable, comprehensive and valid ICF Core Sets for Hearing Loss. The processes involved in this project are described in detail and the authors invite stakeholders, clinical experts and persons with hearing loss to actively participate in the development process.

2. The influence of mood on the perception of hearing-loss related quality of life in people with hearing loss and their significant others
By Preminger, Jill E.& Meeks, Suzanne. International Journal of Audiology, Apr 2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4: p263-271
The purpose of this research was to investigate the congruent/incongruent perceptions of hearing-loss related quality of life between members of couples and to determine how incongruence was affected by individual psychosocial characteristics, specifically measures of mood (negative affect and positive affect), stress, and communication in the marriage. An exploratory correlational analysis was performed on data for 52 couples in which only one member had a hearing loss. In the regression analyses the independent variables were hearing-loss related quality of life scores measured in people with hearing loss, measured in significant others, and differences in hearing-loss related quality of life among members of a couple. The results demonstrate that both in people with hearing loss and their significant others, perceptions of hearing-loss related quality of life is highly correlated with negative mood scores. Incongruence in hearing-loss related quality of life scores reported by members of a couple were highly correlated with negative affect measured within each individual. Future research evaluating the effectiveness of audiologic rehabilitation can use measures of mood as an outcome variable.

3. Auditory-evoked response analysis in Brazilian patients with sickle cell disease
By De Castro Silva, Isabella Monteiro et al. International Journal of Audiology, Apr 2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4: p272-276
: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the integrity of the peripheral and central auditory systems of sickle cell disease (SCD) patients, through electrophysiological evaluation utilizing auditory evoked potentials, and comparing the results obtained in SCD patients with individuals without SCD. A total of 80 individuals were evaluated: 40 SCD patients; and 40 healthy age- and sex-matched controls. Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) was used to check neural integrity and electrophysiological thresholds, and cognitive potential (P300) to analyse the auditory selective attention. Despite the exclusion of individuals with comorbidities typical of SCD, the predominance of hearing loss among the patients was detected in 16 ears (20%). The absolute latencies of the BAER were within the expected range but the SCD group showed a small but statistically significant reduction of the interpeaks I–V, indicative of coch-lear alteration. P300 latency and amplitude were adequate for both groups suggesting the absence of central auditory system abnormalities. The present findings suggest that SCD causes variable degree of cochlear abnormalities without evidence of neural problems.

4. The adaptive pattern of the late auditory evoked potential elicited by repeated stimuli in cochlear implant users
By Zhang, Fawen et al. International Journal of Audiology, Apr 2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4: p277-285
To describe the adaptive pattern of cortically generated auditory evoked potentials elicited by repeated stimuli via cochlear implants (CIs), the late auditory evoked potential (LAEP) was collected from nine postlingually deafened adult CI users. Tone bursts were presented in 30 trains consisting of 10 tone bursts each, with inter-stimulus intervals (ISIs) of 0.7 ms and inter-train intervals (ITIs) of 15s. The response to the first stimulus and the response to later tone bursts in the train were compared. Results showed that the LAEP for the first tone burst was larger than that for later tone bursts, displaying an adaptive pattern. This pattern appeared to be more prominent in CI users with good speech perception performance than in those with poorer performance. This finding is meaningful in the context of our future research to restore normal adaptation in CI users to improve their speech perception performance.

5. A comparison of three approaches to verifying aided Baha output
By Hodgetts, William al. International Journal of Audiology, Apr 2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4: p286-295
: The objective of the present study was to compare three methods of estimating the audibility of aided speech using the Baha. Subjects: 23 Adult Baha users with primarily bilateral conductive hearing loss were recruited from the Bone Conduction Amplification Program at the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Methods: A test Baha was set to each subject's preferred listening level. The same Baha was used to assess the audibility of the long-term average speech spectrum (LTASS) for each of the following three approaches: 1) Aided soundfield thresholds, 2) Real Ear SPL, and 3) Real Head Acceleration Level. Results: Significant differences were discovered between the three approaches. Aided soundfield thresholds consistently over-estimated the sensation level of aided speech. The Real Ear SPL approach provided reasonable estimates in the mid-frequencies. However, low- and high-frequency estimates for the Real Ear approach have significant limitations. Conclusions: The Real Head Acceleration Level appears to be the most accurate method of determining aided audibility with the Baha.

6. Masking effects of speech and music: Does the masker's hierarchical structure matter?
By Shi, Lu-Feng & Law, Yvonne. International Journal of Audiology, Apr 2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4: p296-308
Speech and music are time-varying signals organized by parallel hierarchical rules. Through a series of four experiments, this study compared the masking effects of single-talker speech and instrumental music on speech perception while manipulating the complexity of hierarchical and temporal structures of the maskers. Listeners’ word recognition was found to be similar between hierarchically intact and disrupted speech or classical music maskers (Experiment 1). When sentences served as the signal, significantly greater masking effects were observed with disrupted than intact speech or classical music maskers (Experiment 2), although not with jazz or serial music maskers, which differed from the classical music masker in their hierarchical structures (Experiment 3). Removing the classical music masker's temporal dynamics or partially restoring it affected listeners’ sentence recognition; yet, differences in performance between intact and disrupted maskers remained robust (Experiment 4). Hence, the effect of structural expectancy was largely present across maskers when comparing them before and after their hierarchical structure was purposefully disrupted. This effect seemed to lend support to the auditory stream segregation theory.

7. Prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss in student musicians
By Phillips, Susan al. International Journal of Audiology, Apr2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4: p309-316
This study describes the prevalence and characteristics of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in student musicians (N = 329) aged 18–25 years. Students completed a questionnaire regarding exposures before a hearing assessment. NIHL was defined by the presence of a notch 15 dB in depth at 4000 or 6000 Hz relative to the best preceding threshold. Overall prevalence of NIHL was 45%, with 78% of notches occurring at 6000 Hz. The proportion of the total population with bilateral notching at any frequency was 11.5%, mostly occurring at 6000 Hz. There was a significant increase in the frequency of notching in students who reported more than two hours per day of personal practice. There were no significant associations for instrument group or other noise exposures. The data suggest that susceptibility to NIHL among students of music is not uniform and cannot be ascribed solely to the instrument played and other exposures. Students with bilateral losses tend to have deeper notches and may represent a group that has an inherent predisposition to NIHL.

8. Self-assessed auditory symptoms, noise exposure, and measured auditory function among healthy young Swedish men
By Muhr, Per & Rosenhall, Ulf. International Journal of Audiology, Apr 2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4: p317-325
: The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of the exposure to ototraumatic factors and auditory symptoms, and to analyse the relations between these factors in a group of young healthy men. A total of 839 men, 19–22 years old, were recruited for the study when reporting for primary military service. A questionnaire was distributed and audiometry was performed. The prevalence of tinnitus, sensitivity to noise, and measured hearing impairment in the study group was 23.2%, 15.5%, and 14.5% respectively. Exposure to occupational noise often was reported by 21.4%, and playing loud music often by 16.5%. The young men who had experienced tinnitus after noise exposure had an elevated risk of high frequency hearing impairment, tinnitus, and sensitivity to noise. Those who played loud music had elevated prevalence values of tinnitus but not of hearing impairment. In this young group we observed high prevalence values of ototraumatic factors and auditory symptoms. We also observed significant correlations between tinnitus after noise exposure, self-assessed hearing symptoms, and hearing impairment.

9. Screening for GJB2 and GJB6 gene mutations in patients from Campania region with sensorineural hearing loss
By Chinetti, Viviana et al. International Journal of Audiology, Apr2010, Vol. 49 Issue 4:p326-331
The aim of this study was to screen 349 patients affected by sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), mostly from the Campania region (southern Italy), for GJB2 gene mutations and for two deletions of the GJB6 gene (del GJB6 -D13S1830 and del GJB6 -D13S1854). We identified pathogenetic GJB2 mutations in 51 cases (15% of patients). No GJB6 mutation was found. We also examined the audiologic features of the patients for whom we had an etiologic diagnosis, in order to identify correlations between the severity of hearing loss and the type of mutation.

Journals - Table of Contents

10. From Employment Today, March/April 2011, Issue 154
Editorial: Feeling the shockwaves
Ready, willing and very able
Abilities Group on Auckland’s North Shore offers people with disabilities an opportunity to be part of the workforce. On the day Renée Lang visits, it’s a hive of activity. She talks to Peter Fraher about a unique working environment.
10C. The generation game
Are older workers feeling unappreciated or left on the scrap heap now that a new generation of workers is climbing the career ladder to become managers? And is this a recipe for disaster or the new face of the workplace? Sally Wenley investigates.
10D. Training + performance = bottom line impact
Most companies spend nothing on measuring the impact of workplace learning on job performance, says Helen McPhun. She outlines why it is important to measure the results of your training spend, and looks at the role of management and trainers in ensuring  learning translates into on-the-job effectiveness.
10E. Riding the waves of change
Change management projects often focus on process and fail to understand the effect on staff. Lorna Murray and Jeannine Walsh explain how to help people move through change.
10F. Creating a new blend
When Bell Tea Company joined forces with Burton Hollis, moving into new purpose-built premises was not the only change facing staff. Nigel Carter finds out how the freshly blended company approached the changes ahead.
10G. Trusting in staff pays dividends
Selling their premises, eliminating support staff, and getting on-the-road technicians to behave like owners proved a winning formula for refrigeration and air-conditioning company Thermo Tech. John Laurent discovers that trusting staff pays dividends and has benefits for all.
10H. Outsourcing your HR
Overseas organisations are increasingly turning to external HR experts to help them meet their people management needs. Clare Parkes explains how outsourcing your human resources can take your business to the next level.
10I. Sustainable Business: Worm farms to bike racks
Architectural firm Jasmax is serious about workplace sustainability—it’s part of the culture and identity of the organisation. But as sustainability manager Jerome Partington explains to Stephanie Brown, it’s also great fun. 
10J. Remuneration Remedies: It pays to know
The right salary survey can provide a valuable insight into your organisation’s job market. Susan Doughty explains how to get the best from your salary survey provider.
10K. The DoL Report: Authority to act
Along with changes affecting mediation services and labour inspection, from 1 April there will also be some changes to the Employment Relations Authority. Kate Williamson spoke with the chief of the Authority, James Wilson, to find out just how they will work.
10L. HRINZ News: Get more bang for your buck
When times are tight and budgets are slashed, training is often one of the first things to go—but it needn’t be so. Rachel Walker takes a look at how, with a little ingenuity, you can maximise the value of your training dollar.
10M. Recruitment: The trends—2011 and beyond
The emphasis today is on hiring the right talent—the people who will have a real impact on your organisation’s future success, says Jane Kennelly. She outlines key recruitment trends for 2011 and beyond.
10N. Public sector: Whose books?
The Employment Relations Authority recently determined that a tutor’s workbooks, developed in her own time but used in her teaching, belonged to her, and were not the intellectual property of the employer. Paul Robertson explains.
10o. Just the Job: Making the most of learning potential
Some people are drawn to learning and new challenges. Others, however, are not so motivated and may even be disengaged. Kaye Avery discusses finding their ‘hot buttons’ to turn them into proactive learners.

11. From The Dissector, Journal of the Perioperative Nurses College of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation
March 2011, Volume 38, Number 4
Focussing on the patient, not the illness
The problems PNC members are facing following the Christchurch earthquake
11C. 2011 PNC Conference cancelled due to Christchurch earthquake; Lower Hutt RN wins 3M Tegaderm award
Living with a fear of needle procedures
11E. Are you a good deliver of healthcare, or could you do better?
A first timers view of the annual PNC conference [Andrea Walford]
. Leigh Anderson, Prue Harnes and Clare Yule report from the annual conference of the Association for Perioperative Practice at Harrogate, England
. Pauline Thomas provides some Endometriosis self-help tips as part of her study of this condition and explores the impact of diet on its development
Endometriosis or painful periods. Nutritional, herbal and lifestyle recommendations
Pamela Millson reports on a case of Oesophageal perforation
. Sarah Hill takes an in-depth look at Prostrate cancer, discussing the New Zealand experience, screening options, treatment and looks at the international screening debate

Conferences and Seminars

  Thursday 18th and Friday 19th August, 2011 
Venue: Auckland Centre of Otago University (385 Queens Street, Auckland)
More information:

13. New Zealand Stroke & Applied Neurosciences Conference
  16 - 18 November 2011
Venue: Auckland, New Zealand
More information:

News - National

14. Hospital death blamed on feed tube
Stuff - 27/4/2011
A grieving Lower Hutt family want Hutt Hospital doctors to explain how a feeding tube pumped food into their father's body instead of his stomach, causing an infection that led to his death.
Samuel Sadlier, 54, died in Wellington Hospital on Saturday, April 9. He had been transferred from Hutt Hospital, where he had an operation to relieve pressure on his brain after a stroke. His death is being investigated. While Mr Sadlier was in Hutt Hospital, his daughter Miria Sadlier gave consent for an operation to insert a feeding tube into his stomach. Two days later Mr Sadlier's condition had worsened. He was transferred to Wellington Hospital on April 8, where he deteriorated rapidly.

15. Hot baths may lead to heart trouble - study
The Press - 25/4/2011
That long soak in a hot tub to warm up during the winter could hold some unexpected dangers, a Japanese study has found.
Taking a hot bath on a cold day may spell trouble for the heart, said a team led by Chika Nishiyama, at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine School of Nursing, with the rate of cardiac arrests during bathing rising ten-fold from summer to winter. The findings could be especially significant in Japan, where bathing is a key part of life both at home and as a form of recreation, with people flocking to the country's numerous hot springs for long, relaxing soaks.
"In Japan, most people take a deep, hot bath, since traditional Japanese homes are not well-insulated as in the west and central heating is quite uncommon," Nishiyama and colleagues wrote in Resuscitation. The team based their study on data from nearly 11,000 cardiac arrests in the western prefecture of Osaka between 2005 and 2007.

16. How ever shall I get that stain out?
The Press - 2/4/2011
A 50-cent-sized curry stain on the hallway carpet sparked it all. A bowl of tikka masala, clumsily transported from the lounge to the kitchen. Splotch. A soapy bowl of water didn't do the trick and the stubborn stain became a mesmerising blot on the oatmeal- coloured landscape. How to get rid of such a stain? I asked around and eventually the word-of-mouth chain reached the aunty of a friend. She suggested the answer might be found in a book called Enquire Within Upon Everything, first published in 1856.

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