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The Brighton Collaboration has developed a case definition to assess sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) as an adverse event of special interest for Lassa fever vaccines. We applied the level of diagnostic certainty (LOC) criteria to 300 SNHL patients aged 18 to 59 years at a tertiary hospital in Ghana from January 2017 through June 2020 and evaluated the applicability of this definition. Most SNHL cases were assessable (85.0%) and assigned level 1 LOC (84.3%); missing information on otoscopy (86.7%) was the main reason for being unable to classify cases. Consistency of LOC classification between assessors was 99.3%. Cases with electronic medical records (EMRs) were less assessable than those with paper records (30.9% versus 93.8%). These findings indicate that the SNHL definition would be applicable to retrospectively ascertain and classify cases in resource-limited settings. Developing an EMR template to document otoscopy results may improve the feasibility at this hospital to ascertain SNHL.
These authors contributed equally to this work and share joint first authorship.
Disclosure: Ethics approval for the study was obtained from the National Taiwan University Hospital Research Ethics Committee (202004091RIND) and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Institutional Review Board (KATH IRB/AP/113/20).
Authors’ addresses: Iddrisu Bukari, Global Health Program, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, E-mail: email@example.com. Wan-Ting Huang, National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Duah Mohammed Issahalq, Akosua A. Agyemang-Prempeh, and Anna Konney, Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Department, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana, E-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Hamidu Yussif, Public Health Department, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Yakubu A. Yakubu, Graduate Centre of Management, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa, E-mail: email@example.com. Christopher Hammond Geisler, Pantang Hospital, Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Wei J. Chen, Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, E-mail: email@example.com.