Tinnitus and Hearing Survey: A Screening Tool to Differentiate Bothersome Tinnitus From Hearing Difficulties Purpose Individuals complaining of tinnitus often attribute hearing problems to the tinnitus. In such cases some (or all) of their reported “tinnitus distress” may in fact be caused by trouble communicating due to hearing problems. We developed the Tinnitus and Hearing Survey (THS) as a tool to rapidly differentiate hearing ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2015
Tinnitus and Hearing Survey: A Screening Tool to Differentiate Bothersome Tinnitus From Hearing Difficulties
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James A. Henry
    Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Rehabilitation Research & Development Service, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland, OR
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Susan Griest
    Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Rehabilitation Research & Development Service, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland, OR
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Tara L. Zaugg
    Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Rehabilitation Research & Development Service, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland, OR
  • Emily Thielman
    Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Rehabilitation Research & Development Service, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland, OR
  • Christine Kaelin
    Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Rehabilitation Research & Development Service, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland, OR
  • Gino Galvez
    Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Rehabilitation Research & Development Service, National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland, OR
  • Kathleen F. Carlson
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
    Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Health Services Research & Development Service, Center of Innovation, Portland, OR
  • 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 James A. Henry: james.henry@va.gov
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2015
Tinnitus and Hearing Survey: A Screening Tool to Differentiate Bothersome Tinnitus From Hearing Difficulties
American Journal of Audiology, March 2015, Vol. 24, 66-77. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0042
History: Received August 29, 2014 , Revised November 15, 2014 , Accepted November 21, 2014
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 2015, Vol. 24, 66-77. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0042
History: Received August 29, 2014; Revised November 15, 2014; Accepted November 21, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose Individuals complaining of tinnitus often attribute hearing problems to the tinnitus. In such cases some (or all) of their reported “tinnitus distress” may in fact be caused by trouble communicating due to hearing problems. We developed the Tinnitus and Hearing Survey (THS) as a tool to rapidly differentiate hearing problems from tinnitus problems.

Method For 2 of our research studies, we administered the THS twice (mean of 16.5 days between tests) to 67 participants who did not receive intervention. These data allow for measures of statistical validation of the THS.

Results Reliability of the THS was good to excellent regarding internal consistency (α = .86–.94), test–retest reliability (r = .76–.83), and convergent validity between the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (Newman, Jacobson, & Spitzer, 1996; Newman, Sandridge, & Jacobson, 1998) and the A (Tinnitus) subscale of the THS (r = .78). Factor analysis confirmed that the 2 subscales, A (Tinnitus) and B (Hearing), have strong internal structure, explaining 71.7% of the total variance, and low correlation with each other (r = .46), resulting in a small amount of shared variance (21%).

Conclusion These results provide evidence that the THS is statistically validated and reliable for use in assisting patients and clinicians in quickly (and collaboratively) determining whether intervention for tinnitus is appropriate.

Acknowledgments
Funding for this study was provided by Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service Grants C4698R and F7070S, and by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 1R03DC009012-01A1. Kathleen F. Carlson’s effort was supported by a career development award (CDA 08-025) from the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development Service.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. government.
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