Quantification of Experienced Hearing Problems With Item Response Theory Purpose The purpose of this study was to improve the effectiveness of adult hearing screens and demonstrate that interventions assessment methods are needed that address the individual's experienced hearing. Item response theory, which provides a methodology for assessing patient-reported outcomes, is examined here to demonstrate its usefulness in hearing screens ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2013
Quantification of Experienced Hearing Problems With Item Response Theory
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michelene Chenault
    Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands
    Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
  • Martijn Berger
    Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands
  • Bernd Kremer
    Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands
  • Lucien Anteunis
    Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Michelene Chenault: m.chenault@mumc.nl
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2013
Quantification of Experienced Hearing Problems With Item Response Theory
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 252-262. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0038)
History: Received July 13, 2012 , Revised December 7, 2012 , Accepted March 21, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 252-262. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0038)
History: Received July 13, 2012; Revised December 7, 2012; Accepted March 21, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The purpose of this study was to improve the effectiveness of adult hearing screens and demonstrate that interventions assessment methods are needed that address the individual's experienced hearing. Item response theory, which provides a methodology for assessing patient-reported outcomes, is examined here to demonstrate its usefulness in hearing screens and interventions.

Method The graded response model is applied to a scale of 11 items assessing perceived hearing functioning and 10 items assessing experienced social limitations completed by a sample of 212 persons age 55+ years. Fixed and variable slope models are compared. Discrimination and threshold parameters are estimated and information functions evaluated.

Results Variable slope models for both scales provided the best fit. The estimated discrimination parameters for all items except for one in each scale were good if not excellent (1.5–3.4). Threshold values varied, demonstrating the complementary and supplementary value of items within a scale. The information provided by each item varies relative to trait values so that each scale of items provides information over a wider range of trait values.

Conclusion Item response theory methodology facilitates the comparison of items relative to their discriminative ability and information provided and thus provides a basis for the selection of items for application in a screening setting.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by The Heinsius Houbolt Foundation with which there are no conflicting interests. The patient data were made available by Y. van Leeuwen of the general practitioners of the Neerbeek Health Centre and were collected under the supervision of M. Joore.
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