Auditory acuity and performance on the mental status questionnaire in the elderly

J Am Geriatr Soc. 1981 Oct;29(10):476-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.1981.tb01753.x.


The relationship between auditory acuity and performance on the Mental Status Questionnaire (MSQ, Kahn et al) was investigated in 27 residents of two skilled nursing facilities. Statistically significant correlations between auditory acuity and MSQ total scores were obtained at 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz, 3000 Hz, 4000 Hz, and 6000 Hz, but not at 8000 Hz. The correlations between auditory acuity and individual item scores, however, were statistically significant for only those items for which nursing home personnel believed the opportunity existed for residents to her the answers. These findings are interpreted as providing strong support for a causal relationship between sensory acuity and test performance, indicating that the cognitive capabilities of elderly persons can be underestimated because of their reduced sensory acuity.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hearing Tests
  • Hearing*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Processes*
  • Middle Aged