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Standardized questions in English for estimating tinnitus prevalence and severity, hearing difficulty and usage of healthcare resources, and their translation into 11 European languages

Biswas, Roshni; Lugo, Alessandra; Gallus, Silvano; Akeroyd, Michael A; Hall, Deborah A


Roshni Biswas

Alessandra Lugo

Silvano Gallus

Michael A Akeroyd

Deborah A Hall


INTRODUCTION: Prevalence estimates depend largely on the nature of the question asked to define the presence of the health condition, and the literature on the population burden of tinnitus and hearing difficulties is no different in this respect. The lack of standardized questions for data collection limits comparison across studies and across countries. The purpose of this short Technical Note is to report the first attempt to establish a set of standard questions
developed for use in population-based surveys, and their adaptation and translation from English into 11 European languages.
METHODS: Four questions and their corresponding response options were adapted from existing population-based surveys to assess tinnitus prevalence, tinnitus symptom severity, use of healthcare resources for tinnitus and hearing difficulty. The translated versions (Bulgarian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latvian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish) were generated using recognized methods to achieve a “world-for-world” translation.
RESULTS: Translated versions were produced with acceptable functional equivalence to the original English-language version, as judged by a small panel of bilingual speakers who participated in the online field testing.
CONCLUSION: This work is the first of its kind to promote multi-national standardization by creating a set of tools that can readily be used across countries. These are currently being used in a European-wide study of tinnitus prevalence, and have wider application across English- and Spanish speaking countries including the Americas and Oceania.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019-06
Print ISSN 0378-5955
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 377
Pages 330-338
Keywords Tinnitus classification; Hearing difficulty; Survey instrumentation; Translation
Publisher URL


This file is under embargo until Feb 22, 2020 due to copyright restrictions.

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