Objective To assess disease-specific (Inner EAR) and general (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System [PROMIS]) health status in patients reporting hearing loss and whether there is enough correlation between scales such that the general instrument alone could suffice. Study Design Correlation analysis of prospective cohort data. Setting Tertiary care academic medical center. Methods Adults presenting with a chief complaint of hearing loss completed the Inner EAR scale and the PROMIS instrument. Summary statistics, including means, percentiles, and measures of variance, were calculated. The Spearman ρ statistic was used to test the null hypothesis that there were no correlations between the Inner EAR composite or global score and PROMIS scores. Results The mean Inner EAR composite score was 35.6, while the global item had a mean score of 4.8. Mean PROMIS-10 scores were 16.0 for physical health and 15.3 for mental health. The global item and social item had mean scores of 3.6 and 3.8, respectively. Inner EAR composite scores were significantly correlated with the PROMIS mental health summary scores (Spearman ρ = 0.3, P = .0066) and the PROMIS social item score (Spearman ρ = 0.4, P = .0005). The Inner EAR global item was moderately correlated with the PROMIS social item score (Spearman ρ = 0.3, P = .0118), while there was no significant correlation between the Inner EAR global item and the PROMIS physical health, mental health, or global item scores. Conclusions Inner EAR and a subset of PROMIS scores have weak to moderate correlations. Disease-specific assessment still confers independent value.
Keywords: health status, validated instrument; hearing loss; patient-reported outcomes; quality of life.