Using BEAR data to obtain reduced versions of the SSQ-12 and IOI-HA-7 questionnaires
The Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing scale (SSQ-12) and the International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids (IOI-HA-7) are questionnaires containing 12 and 7 items, respectively. They are designed to subjectively assess hearing ability and are complementary to behavioral measures. Both questionnaires have been applied across a range of clinical and clinical research-related contexts, for example for assessing outcomes of e.g., cochlear implants and hearing aids. However, due to time constraints neither of the questionnaires seem to be an inherent part of standard clinical quality control. The Better Hearing Rehabilitation (BEAR) database contains SSQ- 12 and IOI-HA-7 scores of around 1600 subjects. Applying an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) on the data from the 2nd visit allowed us to reduce the SSQ-12 to 5 questions and the IOI-HA to 3 remaining questions. The SSQ-5 explains 79% of the variance in the SSQ-12 data while the IOI-HA-3 accounts for 70% of the variance in the original IOI-HA-7. These new versions have the potential to be used more efficiently by shortening time and focusing on the items that are most effective to reflect individual benefit. Furthermore, the analysis seems to confirm the validity of such a reduction from similar findings in the literature that were done on different datasets.
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