Content validity of the tinnitus outcome questionnaire for sound management

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Standardized instruments are often used to monitor one's progress in tinnitus relief although they were developed to screen and diagnose tinnitus. The need for the development for a tinnitus outcome assessment tool is high in the field of audiology and otolaryngology. The purpose of this study was to develop a tinnitus outcome questionnaire for sound management (listening to sound stimuli for tinnitus relief) and assess its content validity. A total of 32 questions with six domains (Tinnitus characteristics, the impact of tinnitus, tinnitus and hearing issues, handedness, tinnitus management, and sound management outcome) were generated after closely investigating major tinnitus questionnaires used worldwide (i.e. Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire) as well as literature. Ten healthcare professionals evaluated the appropriateness of the questionnaire items on a five-point Likert scale, where 1 is strongly inappropriate and 5 is strongly appropriate. Content relevance was assessed by computing the content validity index with the cut-off value of 0.75. Each response was first weighted as follows: 1 = 0; 2 = 0.25; 3 = 0.5; 4 = 0.75; and 5 = 1.0. The weighted average was then calculated. Items with a content validity index less than 0.75 were discarded and some items were revised according to the experts' feedback. As a result, 31 out of the 32 items had the content validity index higher than 0.75, indicating that the items are appropriate to obtain information about the six domains. Reflecting the experts' feedback, some questions were revised to be more specific. The study provides a baseline structure regarding potential questions to be included in a tinnitus outcome questionnaire for sound management. Development and standardization of such questionnaire would be a pathway to validating tinnitus relief via sound therapy.
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PLOS ONE, v.16, no.5

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RIMS Journal Papers
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