Objective: The original 52-item version of the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ) is a widely applied self-report instrument to measure tinnitus-related distress. One objective of the current study was the validation of the reported five-factor structure of the German TQ in a new, large sample of patients with chronic tinnitus. Since former studies have yielded conflicting results for the factor structure of the 12-item short version (Mini-TQ), analysis of its factor structure and the generation of a new short version were further study aims.
Methods: Data of 7112 subsequent patients with chronic tinnitus that filled out the German 52-item version of the TQ at the Tinnitus Center at Charité University Hospital Berlin, Germany, were included in the study. Statistical analyses included exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).
Results: CFA showed reasonably acceptable fit indices for a five-factor model for the 52-item version of the TQ, at least for RMSEA, one of the three fit indices (RMSEA = 0.059; CFI = 0.871; TLI = 0.861). Factors were called emotional distress, auditory perceptual difficulties, intrusiveness, sleep disturbances, and coping. Another CFA supports a three-factor model of the newly generated 15-item short version (RMSEA = 0.060; CFI = 0.942; TLI = 0.931) with the factors emotional distress, auditory perceptual difficulties, and intrusiveness.
Conclusion: Validation of the German 52-item version of the TQ in a large, new sample of patients with chronic tinnitus supports the previously reported five-factor structure with slight differences concerning the identified factors. The new three-factorial 15-item short version allows a more rapid and economical assessment of tinnitus-related distress.
Keywords: Confirmatory factor analysis; Tinnitus; Tinnitus distress; Tinnitus questionnaire; Validation.
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