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Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Social Isolation Measure (SIM) in adults with hearing loss

Heffernan, Eithne; Habib, Alia; Ferguson, Melanie


Eithne Heffernan

Alia Habib

Melanie Ferguson


This study aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties of a brief, hearing-specific outcome measure: the Social Isolation Measure (SIM). In Phase 1, adults with hearing loss were invited to complete an online survey that contained the SIM, a hearing-specific participation questionnaire, a generic activity and participation questionnaire, and a generic loneliness questionnaire. In Phase 2, the participants were asked to complete the SIM for a second time 2-3 weeks following Phase 1. One hundred and sixteen adults with hearing loss completed Phase 1. Ninety-five participants also completed Phase 2. Twenty-nine participants were excluded from the Phase 2 data analysis because they reported that their hearing had changed since Phase 1 or because they completed Phase 2 outside of the 2-3 week interval following Phase 1. In support of its construct validity, the SIM had a strong correlation with the hearing-specific questionnaire and moderate correlations with the generic questionnaires. The findings also supported the internal consistency, interpretability, and test-retest reliability of the SIM. In conclusion, the SIM was found to have strong psychometric properties. It could serve as a brief measure of perceived social isolation in research or clinical practice.


Heffernan, E., Habib, A., & Ferguson, M. (2019). Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Social Isolation Measure (SIM) in adults with hearing loss. International Journal of Audiology, 58(1), 45-52.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 8, 2019
Publication Date Jan 8, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 20, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 9, 2020
Journal International Journal of Audiology
Print ISSN 1499-2027
Electronic ISSN 1708-8186
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 58
Issue 1
Pages 45-52
Keywords Hearing loss; Social isolation; Psychometrics; Outcome measurement; Questionnaire: loneliness
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Audiology on 8 January 2019, available online:[10.1080/14992027.2018.1533257


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