Older adults’ performance on the speech, spatial, and qualities of hearing scale (SSQ): Test-retest reliability and a comparison of interview and self-administration methods

Int J Audiol. 2010 Oct;49(10):733-40. doi: 10.3109/14992027.2010.491097.


The purposes of the study were to examine the test-retest properties of the speech, spatial, and qualities of hearing scale (SSQ) and to determine if the method of test administration affected these properties. Four groups of 40 older adult participants completed the SSQ twice at an interval of about a half year, using either the same or different administration methods at the two test times. The SSQ was administered using an interview method and/or it was self-administered and then returned by mail. Although the method of test administration did not systematically affect scores on the SSQ, the highest test-retest correlation (r = 0.83) was observed using the interview method at both test times, making it the best choice for the purpose of demonstrating the effectiveness of interventions. The other three combinations of dual-administration in this study also provided reliable results and may be preferable because the self-administration method is less time-consuming and labour-intensive.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Hearing Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Hearing Disorders / psychology
  • Hearing Tests / methods*
  • Hearing Tests / standards*
  • Hearing*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sound Localization*
  • Space Perception
  • Spatial Behavior
  • Speech Perception*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors