JOURNAL ARTICLE

The Hearing Impairment Impact-Significant Other Profile (HII-SOP): a tool to measure hearing loss-related quality of life in spouses of people with hearing loss

Jill E Preminger, Suzanne Meeks
Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 2012, 23 (10): 807-23
23169197

BACKGROUND: Third-party hearing loss-related quality of life (HLQoL) reports measure the third-party disability as a result of communicating regularly with someone with hearing loss. Scales with known psychometric characteristics validated on a diverse subject population are needed in order to describe the activity limitations and participation restrictions experienced by spouses as a result of living with an individual with hearing loss.

PURPOSE: The purpose of the present study was to develop a scale to measure third-party HLQoL in spouses of people with hearing loss with acceptable psychometric characteristics. This scale is known as the Hearing Impairment Impact-Significant Other Profile (HII-SOP).

RESEARCH DESIGN: In Study 1, the initial test items were developed and evaluated with a factor analysis for adequate construct validity. In Study 2, the internal consistency reliability, the validity, and the test-retest reliability of the revised test were evaluated.

STUDY SAMPLE: In Study 1, 120 people between 34 and 87 yr of age participated and in Study 2, 164 people between 23 and 88 yr of age participated.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: In Study 1, a 41-item questionnaire was developed based on five content areas: physical adjustment, social activities, emotional reaction, intimate relationship, and change in roles. The scale was submitted to a factor analysis to analyze interrelationships among items, determine the underlying dimensions, and select items for the final scale. In Study 2, the internal consistency reliability, construct validity, and test-retest reliability were evaluated in the revised 20-item questionnaire. The internal-consistency reliability was measured using Cronbach's alpha. Validity was assessed by observing the correlations of the new scale with well-established scales measuring related constructs: overall health-related quality of life, marital communication, HLQoL, and negative affect, in both the person with hearing loss and the spouse. Test-retest reliability was measured in a subset of the spouses who completed the HII-SOP between 2 and 4 wk after the initial scale was completed.

RESULTS: The HII-SOP is a 20-item scale with three subscales which measure: (1) the emotions that arise when having a spouse with hearing loss as well as the impact of the hearing loss on the marital relationship, (2) the impact of the hearing loss on the social life of the spouse, and (3) the communication strategies used by the spouse. The scale and its subscales have adequate internal-consistency reliability suggesting that the 20 items do measure a single construct and the subscales do measure distinct subconstructs. The HII-SOP scale was significantly correlated with measures expected to relate to the construct of third-party disability associated with hearing loss. Finally, the HII-SOP scale has adequate test-retest reliability (r = 0.90) and the 95% critical differences is 19.7 points.

CONCLUSIONS: The HII-SOP is a scale to measure third-party HLQoL in spouses of individuals with hearing loss. Scores of 20-39 reflect mild third-party disability, scores of 40-59 reflect moderate third-party disability, and scores >60 reflect severe third-party disability associated with hearing loss.

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