Hallucinations in Hearing Impairment: How Informed Are Clinicians?

Theresa M Marschall*, Pim van Dijk, Karolina Kluk, Sanne Koops, Mascha M J Linszen, Timothy D Griffiths, Wei Lin Toh, Alicja N Malicka, Damir Kovačić, Christoph Mulert, Iris E C Sommer, Branislava Ćurčić-Blake

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Background and Hypothesis: Patients with hearing impairment (HI) may experience hearing sounds without external sources, ranging from random meaningless noises (tinnitus) to music and other auditory hallucinations (AHs) with meaningful qualities. To ensure appropriate assessment and management, clinicians need to be aware of these phenomena. However, sensory impairment studies have shown that such clinical awareness is low.

Study Design: An online survey was conducted investigating awareness of AHs among clinicians and their opinions about these hallucinations.

Study Results: In total, 125 clinicians (68.8% audiologists; 18.4% Ear-Nose-Throat [ENT] specialists) across 10 countries participated in the survey. The majority (96.8%) was at least slightly aware of AHs in HI. About 69.6% of participants reported encountering patients with AHs less than once every 6 months in their clinic. Awareness was significantly associated with clinicians’ belief that patients feel anxious about their hallucinations (β = .018, t(118) = 2.47, P < .01), their belief that clinicians should be more aware of these hallucinations (β =.018, t(118) = 2.60, P < .01), and with confidence of clinicians in their skills to assess them (β = .017, t(118) = 2.63, P < .01). Clinicians felt underequipped to treat AHs (Median = 31; U = 1838; PFDRadj < .01).

Conclusions: Awareness of AHs among the surveyed clinicians was high. Yet, the low frequency of encounters with hallucinating patients and their belief in music as the most commonly perceived sound suggest unreported cases. Clinicians in this study expressed a lack of confidence regarding the assessment and treatment of AHs and welcome more information.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)S33–S40
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftSchizophrenia Bulletin
Nummer van het tijdschriftS1
Vroegere onlinedatum24-feb.-2023
StatusPublished - mrt.-2023


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