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.
- Hearing difficulty
- Survey instrumentation
- Tinnitus classification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems