Research Article  |   December 2012
Psychometric Evaluation of Visual Analog Scale for the Assessment of Chronic Tinnitus
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Berthold Langguth
    University of Regensburg, Germany
  • Christian Hauptmann
    Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Neuromodulation Research Center, Jülich, Germany
  • Peter Alexander Tass
    Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Neuromodulation Research Center, Jülich, Germany
  • Disclosure Statement
    Disclosure Statement×
    Christian Hauptmann and Peter Alexander Tass have a contractual relationship with ANM Adaptive Neuromodulation GmbH.
    Christian Hauptmann and Peter Alexander Tass have a contractual relationship with ANM Adaptive Neuromodulation GmbH.×
  • Correspondence to Ilya Adamchic: i.adamchic@fz-juelich.de
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Hearing Disorders / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 2012
Psychometric Evaluation of Visual Analog Scale for the Assessment of Chronic Tinnitus
American Journal of Audiology December 2012, Vol.21, 215-225. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0010)
History: Accepted 22 Jun 2012 , Received 02 Mar 2012 , Revised 04 Jun 2012
American Journal of Audiology December 2012, Vol.21, 215-225. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2012/12-0010)
History: Accepted 22 Jun 2012 , Received 02 Mar 2012 , Revised 04 Jun 2012

Purpose: The development of therapeutic interventions for chronic tinnitus requires sensitive and clinically responsive tools to measure treatment-induced changes in tinnitus loudness and annoyance. In this study, the authors evaluated the psychometric properties of patient-reported visual analog scales (VAS) for measuring subjectively perceived tinnitus loudness and annoyance.

Method: The authors analyzed data from a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of acoustic coordinated reset (CR) neuromodulation in patients with chronic tinnitus (trial registration: “Randomized Evaluation of Sound Evoked Treatment of Tinnitus [RESET] study”; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00927121) to assess the reliability, validity, and minimally clinically identifiable difference (MCID) of the VAS loudness and VAS annoyance. The VAS loudness and VAS annoyance were completed at screening, at baseline, and at 5 visits during the 16 weeks of the clinical study. Data were analyzed with respect to test–retest reliability, validity, and MCID.

Results: VAS loudness and VAS annoyance showed good test-retest reliability of .8 and .79, respectively. In terms of convergent validity, VAS loudness and VAS annoyance correlated well with the tinnitus questionnaire at all clinical visits (max r = .67, p < .05). MCID estimates clustered between 10 and 15 points.

Conclusion: VAS loudness and VAS annoyance are valid and effective measurements for capturing reductions in tinnitus severity in patients with chronic tinnitus.

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