The Audiometry section (variable name prefix AUQ) provides interview data on self-reported hearing status, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing screening history, the use of hearing aids and assistive devices for hearing, and risk factors for hearing loss.
Topics included in this section are:
- Self assessed hearing status
- History of ear infections; ear tube placed for infection (ages 12-19 years)
- How recently hearing tests were performed, if ever.
- Hearing aid use: ever used; use > 5 hours/week
- Use of assistive listening devices
- 12-month period prevalence of tinnitus: how long bothered by tinnitus, tinnitus present after loud sounds, bothered by tinnitus when falling asleep, self-assessed severity of tinnitus.
- Ever exposed to firearms noise; ever exposed to occupational or non-occupational loud noise.
- How often hearing protection is used.
All survey participants aged 1 year and older were eligible for the initial question (AUQ131) relating to self-reported hearing capability/deficits. Survey respondents 12-19 years and 70 years of age and older were asked further detailed questions about hearing and noise exposure.
Interview Setting and Mode of Administration
These questions were asked before the physical examination, in the home, using the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing-CAPI (interviewer administered) system.
Quality Assurance & Quality Control
The CAPI system is programmed with built-in consistency checks to reduce data entry errors. CAPI also uses online help screens to assist interviewers in defining key terms used in the questionnaire.
Data Processing and Editing
The 2005–2006 Audiometry Questionnaire data was verified against the main data file prior to public release.
Audiologic data analysis is a complex endeavor requiring knowledge of the specialty content area for valid results to be obtained. If an analyst does not have professional experience in this area, it is recommended that audiologic consultation be obtained to help formulate and review the results of the analysis.
Full sample household interview weights should be employed if statistical analysis involves only the NHANES 2005-2006 AUQ questionnaire data. Although these data were collected as a part of the household questionnaire, if they are merged with NHANES MEC data, MEC examination sample weights should be used for the analysis.
Previous National Health Interview Survey and NHANES III Audiometry questionnaires served as questionnaire sources.
Audiometry Examination data is found in the Audiometry Section of the NHANES 2005–2006 Examination Files (AUX). The Occupation Section of the SP Household Questionnaire (OCQ) has related questions regarding SP’s current and past occupational noise exposure.
Please refer to the NHANES Analytic Guidelines for further details on the use of sample weights and other analytic issues. The Analytic Guidelines are available on the NHANES website.