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Readability assessment of self-report hyperacusis questionnaires

Margol-Gromada, Magdalena; Sereda, Magdalena; Baguley, David M.


Magdalena Margol-Gromada

David M. Baguley


Objective: To assess the overall readability of five currently available hyperacusis questionnaires and to assess the variability of single items within each questionnaire. Design: Comparative study of self-report hyperacusis questionnaires: (1) Geräuschüberempfindlichkeits-Fragebogen (GUF), (2) Noise Avoidance Questionnaire (NAQ), (3) Hyperacusis Questionnaire (HQ), (4) Sound Sensitive-Tinnitus Index (SSTI), and (5) Inventory of Hyperacusis Symptoms (IHS). Well-established readability formulas Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL), Flesch Reading Ease (FRE), Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG) and FORCAST and a computerised readability calculation software were used. Study sample: Five questionnaires. Results: Reading levels calculated by each formula varied for every questionnaire. Readability scores ranged from 7.7th to 12.7th grade for overall readability depending on the questionnaire. This exceeded the grade reading levels of 5th to 6th grade (10-12 years old) as recommended by the American Medical Association or 7th to 8th grade (12-14 years old) as recommended by the US National Institutes of Health. Single item readability analysis based on FKGL revealed that 32% to 70% of single items are written above the recommended grade levels. Conclusion: All five questionnaires are written at close to or exceeding the recommended grade levels. This requires attention from developers but also when interpreting the questionnaire scores obtained in clinic.


Margol-Gromada, M., Sereda, M., & Baguley, D. M. (2020). Readability assessment of self-report hyperacusis questionnaires. International Journal of Audiology, 59(7), 506-512.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 5, 2020
Publication Date Mar 5, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 3, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 6, 2021
Journal International Journal of Audiology
Print ISSN 1499-2027
Electronic ISSN 1708-8186
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 59
Issue 7
Pages 506-512
Keywords readability, health literacy, hyperacusis, self-report questionnaires, reduced sound tolerance, speech and hearing, linguistics and language, language and linguistics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Audiology on 05.03.20, available online:


Readability Assessment of Self-Report Hyperacusis Questionnaires (401 Kb)

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