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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

On-line version ISSN 1982-0232


ROSIS, Ana Carolina Argondizo de; SOUZA, Marilia Rodrigues Freitas de  and  IORIO, Maria Cecília Martinelli. Questionnaire Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly - Screening version (HHIE-S): sensitivity and specificity study. Rev. soc. bras. fonoaudiol. [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.3, pp.339-345. ISSN 1982-0232.

PURPOSE: To investigate the sensitivity and specificity of the questionnaire Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly - Screening version (HHIE-S) in the hearing screening of elderly people who seek for different health care services (audiological clinic and other clinics). METHODS: The hearing of 78 elderly - 23 attended at the Discipline of Geriatrics and Gerontology of the institution who did not, necessarily, have complaints regarding their hearing, and 55 attended at the Audiology Clinic of the same institution with complaints related to the auditory and/or vestibular systems - was assessed. The HHIE-S questionnaire was applied, and its total score was divided into three categories, according to the handicap perception. RESULTS: A statistically significant relationship was found between handicap and degree of hearing loss in both patients from the Audiology Clinic (p=0.009*) and from the Geriatrics Clinic (p=0.002). In the first group, the HHIE-S questionnaire showed low sensitivity (23.5%) and high specificity (73.7%). In the group of patients from the Geriatrics Clinic, the values of sensitivity (94.7%) and specificity (75%) were both high. CONCLUSIONS: There was positive association between the degree of hearing loss and the handicap referred by both groups of subjects. The HHIE-S questionnaire is a hearing screening instrument with high sensitivity and specificity in identifying hearing loss in elderly people that seek health care services that are not specific for attention related to hearing disorders.

Keywords : Hearing disorders; Hearing loss; Aged; Audiometry; Questionnaires.

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