Test re-test reliability of the Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing scale 12 item short form : for non hearing aid wearers using pen and paper administration method.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Background The available self-report measures of hearing ability do not address challenging listening environments thoroughly (Gatehouse & Noble, 2004). These situations are often where individuals with hearing impairment encounter the most difficulty (Gatehouse & Noble, 2004). The Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale 12 item short form (SSQ12) is a shortened version of the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) intended for clinical use (Noble, Jensen, Naylor, Bhullar, & Akeroyd, 2013). To date the reliability of the SSQ12 has not been investigated. This study addressed: 1) the overall reliability of the SSQ12 over the three time points: week 0 (T0), week 6 (T1), and week 12 (T2); 2) the reliability of the SSQ12 subscales over the three time points (T0, T1, and T2); and 3) the presence of patterns between the given response and measured factors. Method This observational study recruited 21 participants to partake in the completion of the SSQ12. The SSQ12 was completed by all participants at three time points at 6 week intervals. Participant information was collected on age, gender, ethnicity, relationship status, income, education level, severity, audiometric thresholds, and Hearing Handicap Questionnaire (HHQ) (Gatehouse & Noble, 2004) average score. Results Non-parametric analyses of the data showed strong correlations exist between subscale and total scores across the three administration points with the exception of the T0-T2 spatial subscale correlation. Further analysis showed the presence of significant relationships between various subscales and the measured variables: age, severity, better ear puretone average (BEPTA), worse ear puretone average (WEPTA), and HHQ average at each of the administration time points. Conclusion The SSQ12 is a reliable measure and can be used in a clinical setting to observe true changes in hearing status as a result of intervention. It is recommended the audiologist administrating the SSQ12 refers to the critical differences to determine a true effect, as they differ depending on subscale and overall score. An additional recommendation is for the audiologist to limit the time interval at which they administer the SSQ12. It would be beneficial to further investigate the reliability of the SSQ12 for this population through the interview administration method. Additionally, the reliability for adults with hearing loss and hearing aids for both methods of administration should be investigated in the future in order to determine normative values.