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Tinnitus and hearing survey: a screening tool to differentiate bothersome tinnitus from hearing difficulties.

Henry JA, Griest S, Zaugg TL, Thielman E, Kaelin C, Galvez G, Carlson KF. Tinnitus and hearing survey: a screening tool to differentiate bothersome tinnitus from hearing difficulties. American Journal of Audiology. 2015 Mar 1; 24(1):66-77.

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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 (a = .86-.94), test-retest reliability (r = .76-.83), and convergent validity between the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (Newman, Jacobson, and Spitzer, 1996; Newman, Sandridge, and 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.

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