Pseudohypacusis or the intentional feigning of hearing loss is a challenging situation in the medicolegal evaluation of hearing levels. Few studies have been performed on predisposing factors that make compensation claims susceptible to malingering. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between educational level and frequency of pseudohypacusis in a group of medico-legal clients.
Retrospectively, we studied the files of subjects (n=421) referred to the audiology clinic of a government hospital during a 12 month period. Educational levels of the individuals with and without pseudohypacusis were compared by the Chi-square test.
The results show that individuals with pseudohypacusis have lower educational levels than cooperative clients. The relative frequency of individuals with pseudohypacusis among illiterates (43.5%) was clearly higher than individuals with higher educational levels (17.5%).
The education level of a person filing a compensation claim may alert an examiner in detecting pseudohypacusis.