A critical reevaluation of the quantified denver scale of communication function

Michael R. Tuley, Cynthia D. Mulrow, Christine Aguilar, Ramon Velez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The Quantified Denver Scale of Communication Function (QDS) is a 25 item questionnaire developed to measure communication difficulties in adults with hearing impairment. This study reassessed the constructs, reliability, and validity of the scale, and developed a 5 item short version. The QDS was administered to 238 elderly individuals (137 with and 101 without hearing loss). Factor analysis using this sample identified only two subscale constructs as opposed to four originally proposed constructs. The validity of the new revised two-construct model was verified by four independent investigators who labeled the two constructs as measuring self isolation and communication function. The internal reliability of the revised scale was 0.97 and of both construct subscales was 0.95. Overall test-retest reliability was 0.73. Validity examined by comparing the revised scale with another well-known handicap measure, the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly, was adequate: overall scale correlations were 0.73 and subscale correlations ranged from 0.64 to 0.72. The accuracy of the revised QDS for discriminating between individuals with and without hearing loss was 73%. Stepwise discriminant analysis generated a 5 item short version scale which contained two questions from the long communication subscale and three from the long self-isolation subscale. The accuracy of the short QDS was 74%. We conclude that the revised QDS is a reliable and valid scale that can be used to assess self isolation and communication function in elderly individuals with hearing loss, and that a new 5 item short version performs as well as the original 25 item scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-61
Number of pages6
JournalEar and hearing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


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