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A factor analysis of the SSQ (Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale)

Akeroyd, Michael A.; Guy, Fiona H.; Harrison, Dawn L.; Suller, Sharon L.


Fiona H. Guy

Dawn L. Harrison

Sharon L. Suller



The speech, spatial, and qualities of hearing questionnaire (SSQ) is a self-report test of auditory disability. The 49 items ask how well a listener would do in many complex listening situations illustrative of real life. The scores on the items are often combined into the three main sections or into 10 pragmatic subscales. We report here a factor analysis of the SSQ that we conducted to further investigate its statistical properties and to determine its structure.

Statistical factor analysis of questionnaire data, using parallel analysis to determine the number of factors to retain, oblique rotation of factors, and a bootstrap method to estimate the confidence intervals.

1220 people who have attended MRC IHR over the last decade.

We found three clear factors, essentially corresponding to the three main sections of the SSQ. They are termed "speech understanding", "spatial perception", and "clarity, separation, and identification". Thirty-five of the SSQ questions were included in the three factors. There was partial evidence for a fourth factor, "effort and concentration", representing two more questions.

These results aid in the interpretation and application of the SSQ and indicate potential methods for generating average scores.


Akeroyd, M. A., Guy, F. H., Harrison, D. L., & Suller, S. L. (2014). A factor analysis of the SSQ (Speech, Spatial, and Qualities of Hearing Scale). International Journal of Audiology, 53(2), doi:10.3109/14992027.2013.824115. ISSN 1499-2027

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 3, 2013
Online Publication Date Sep 9, 2013
Publication Date Feb 1, 2014
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2018
Journal International Journal of Audiology
Print ISSN 1499-2027
Electronic ISSN 1708-8186
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 2
Keywords Psychoacoustics/hearing science, behavioral measures, hearing aids, speech perception
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Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:
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