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Establishment of self-reported hearing cut-off value on the Chinese version of short form of speech, spatial and qualities of hearing scale (SSQ12).

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the Chinese version of Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (C-SSQ12) in the Chinese Mandarin-speaking population and to determine its screening cut-off value by comparing measured pure-tone average (PTA), the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly-Screening Version (HHIE-S) scores and C-SSQ12 scores.

DESIGN: All participants completed the C-SSQ12 questionnaire and underwent the pure-tone audiometry. Older subjects aged ≧ 60 years completed the HHIE-S questionnaire. The optimal cut-off value for the C-SSQ12 as a hearing screening tool was calculated by comparing different cut-offs and hearing thresholds.

STUDY SAMPLE: A total of 300 subjects were recruited.

RESULTS: There was a negative correlation between C-SSQ12 scores and HHIE-S scores (r = -0.749). C-SSQ12 scores were negatively correlated with PTA (r = -0.507; r = -0.542). The best cut-off value for the C-SSQ12 was 6.0, with a sensitivity of 78.2%, specificity of 80.3%, positive predictive value of 63.7% and negative predictive value of 97.0% (PTA > 40dBHL for bilateral ears).

CONCLUSIONS: Compared to mild hearing loss, the C-SSQ12 is a reliable and validated hearing screening tool with increased sensitivity for detecting moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

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