The present study evaluates the items of the Hearing Handicap Inventory
for the Elderly and Hearing Handicap Inventory
for Adults (HHIE/A) using Mokken scale analysis
(MSA), a type of nonparametric item response theory
, and develops updated tools with optimal psychometric properties.
In a longitudinal study of age-related hearing loss
, 1447 adults completed the HHIE/A and audiometric testing at baseline. Discriminant validity of the emotional consequences and social/situational effects subscales of the HHIE/A was assessed, and nonparametric item response theory
was used to explore dimensionality of the items of the HHIE/A and to refine the scales.
The HHIE/A items form strong unidimensional scales measuring self-perceived hearing handicap
, but with a lack of discriminant validity of the two distinct subscales. Two revised scales, the 18-item Revised Hearing Handicap Inventory
and the 10-item Revised Hearing Handicap Inventory
, were developed from the common items of the original HHIE/A that met the assumptions of MSA. The items on both of the revised scales can be ordered in terms of increasing difficulty.
The results of the present study suggest that the newly developed Revised Hearing Handicap Inventory
and Revised Hearing Handicap Inventory
are strong unidimensional, clinically informative measures of self-perceived hearing handicap
that can be used for adults of all ages. The real-data example also demonstrates that MSA is a valuable alternative to classical psychometric analysis.