Several scales exist for screening handicap and assessing rehabilitation in elderly individuals with hearing loss. There are few comparative studies, however, to suggest which scales perform best. Using receiver-operating curves and responsiveness indices, we examined the relative discriminating ability and sensitivity to detect change of four scales: a long and short version of the Hearing Handicap Inventory in the Elderly (HHIE-L, HHIE- S), and a long and short version of the Revised Quantified Denver Scale of Communication Function (RQDS-L, RQDS- S). All scales were administered to 137 elderly veterans with hearing loss and 101 elderly veterans without hearing loss. Follow-up testing to determine relative ability to detect change was assessed in hearing impaired individuals only after they had used a hearing aid for 4 months. Discriminative accuracy for correctly identifying individuals with hearing loss were: HHIE-L 78%, HHIE-S 79%, RQDS-L 73%, and RQDS-S 74%. Overall differences between the HHIE-S and the RQDS-S were not statistically significant (p = 0.06). True positive results were greater with the HHIE-S compared to the RQDS-S (p = 0.03). Responsiveness indices were: HHIE-L 1.78, HHIE-S 1.86, RQDS-L 1.04, and RQDS-S 1.07. Differences between the HHIE-S and the RQDS-S were statistically significant (p < 0.05). We conclude short versions of the HHIE and RQDS are as accurate and sensitive for detecting change as long versions, and the HHIE-S is a superior versatile instrument for screening and assessing rehabilitation in elderly individuals with hearing impairment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Speech and Hearing