A clinical evaluation of the hearing disability and handicap scale in men with noise induced hearing loss

Noise Health. 2000;2(6):67-78.


During the last 30 years several hearing disability and handicap questionnaires have been designed and used for clinical purposes. The present study includes a review of the most frequently used scales. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Hearing Disability and Handicap Scale (HDHS), which is a shortened and modified version of the Hearing Measurement Scale. Correlations between the Hearing Handicap and Support Scale, the Communication Strategy Scale from the Communication Profile of the Hearing Impaired, pure tone audiometry and speech recognition scores in noise were analysed. Data from 168 men with noise induced hearing loss of different degrees was obtained. Also a test-retest was conducted. The disability section of the HDHS seemed accurate but offered no improvement of prediction compared to previous scales. Even though the reliability of the handicap section was sufficient, its validity and clinical use is discussed and suggestions about improvements given. Since standardised scales are necessary if results are to be compared worldwide, guidelines regarding the clinical use and benefit of hearing disability and handicap scales are required.