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ISSN: 1935-1232 (P)

ISSN: 1941-2010 (E)

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Abstract

Cerumen Impaction in Patients with Schizophrenia

Author(s): Saana Eskelinen, Eila Sailas, Kaisla Joutsenniemi, Matti Holi, Jaana Suvisaari

Cerumen impaction may cause hearing loss and pain. We investigated the prevalence of cerumen impaction in a population of outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum psychoses and studied factors contributing to it. As a part of our study—“The Living Conditions and Physical Health of Outpatients with Schizophrenia”—we performed a thorough medical examination including otoscopy of the ear canal for patients treated in the community mental health center of one Finnish municipality. Out of a total of 61 patients, cerumen impaction was found in 12 (19.7%). In a logistic regression model, living in a group home (OR 13.7, 95% confidence interval 3.0–64.0, p=0.0008) significantly predicted cerumen impaction. Cerumen impaction was also associated with male gender and lower GAF scores. Cerumen impaction is common in patients with schizophrenia, and is associated with low level of functioning. Diagnosis and treatment of cerumen impaction among schizophrenia patients is essential in avoiding this easily treatable cause of hearing loss and its consequences such as difficulties in cognition and social interaction.