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Int J Audiol. 2003 Sep;42(6):312-8.

King-Kopetzky syndrome in the light of an ecological conceptual framework.

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Ahlsén Research Institute, Orebro University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden.


The principal symptom of subjects suffering from King-Kopetzky syndrome is a perceived difficulty in recognizing and understanding speech in noisy backgrounds. For some patients, minor disturbances in auditory function, e.g. a deteriorated signal-to-noise ratio for speech, can be demonstrated; for others, all measurements of hearing are normal. A conceptual framework developed for the analysis of communication disorders is applied to King-Kopetzky syndrome in the present article. The usefulness of the framework is evaluated, and an extended system for the analysis of King-Kopetzky syndrome patients is suggested. It is emphasized that changes in demands resulting from external conditions and altered perception and evaluation of the conditions may generate the symptoms. A change in the subjects' desired self-image (preferendum) and a change in social role, new, unfamiliar vocabulary, as well as minor dysfunctions in peripheral and central auditory processing, might generate the characteristic features of the syndrome. The framework is related to the current literature, and arguments for the usefulness of the framework in the planning of support and rehabilitation are presented. Several new questions are generated for further analysis of King-Kopetzky syndrome.

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