Ageing is associated with various underlying physiological changes and increased risk of experiencing more than one chronic condition (1). One of the most common chronic diseases/ conditions of old age is “Hearing loss” (2). Hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition affecting older adults as well as their daily communications (3). However, these people are usually are not insight about their hearing loss condition and may be under-reported (4).
Hearing loss has numerous adverse impact on the psychological and social well-being of older adults (2) because it affects nearly on all aspects of daily life. Hearing loss interferes with solitary activities, such as listening to the television or radio. Additionally, difficulty in using the telephone may influence on older adults’ communication who are living alone (5). Moreover, difficulty in recognition of the spoken words, needing to a repetition of words by others, and uncertainty about having understood correctly, often lead to withdrawal from social activities, such as diminished attendance at a social gathering such as theatres, cinemas, churches, lectures, etc. This difficulty in recognition of words leads to declined intellectual and social interaction (6). Therefore, hearing loss can lead to social isolation, depression, anxiety, poor quality of life, and even cognitive performance decline in the old ages (7).
To manage and prevent these negative consequences of hearing loss, clinicians should attempt to early diagnose of hearing impairment as an integral part of the comprehensive geriatric assessment. Currently, the gold- standard method for early clinical detection of hearing loss is audiogram, but less access to audiometry centers and costs of audiogram may restrict referring to the health centers (8).
Lutman (1991) and Ventry and Weinstein (1983) proposed that the hearing difficulties among the older adults can be measured by a self-report manner rather than audiometric data (9, 10). Self-report measures help identify hearing handicap and potential communicational difficulties and also have an essential place role in the efficiency of hearing impairment screening programs for older adults (11).
The self-administered hearing loss tools are widely used as a quick and inexpensive method to screen hearing loss in clinical settings (8). Several questionnaires for assessing of hearing disability have been developed and used in the English-speaking population such as the Hearing Disability and Handicap Scale (HDHS) (12), the Gothenburg Profile (GP) (13), the Hearing Handicap Questionnaire (HHQ) (14), Complete Intelligibility Spatiality Quality (CISQ) (15), the Speech Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) (16), and the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (HHIE) (17). But among these tools, HHIE was more widely used in hearing loss assessment among older adults (18).
In 1982, Ventry and Weinstein has developed the 25-item HHIE to assess psychosocial handicap of hearing impairment in the elderly ages(17). It was incorporated for use in community‑based studies among older adults, especially in inaccessible rural areas of developed countries (19, 20). A shorter widely used 10-item version of the HHIE-S was developed next in 1986 as a screening tool for handicapping hearing loss (21). This screening instrument is widely used and its reliability and validity have been well established in numerous studies (21, 22). This tool has been found to have high internal consistency reliability and high test-retest consistency for different languages (21, 23). Due to its reliability, validity, and brevity, the HHIE-S has also been found to be effective tool in measuring the performance of different types of hearing aid tools (24–26). In addition, it is available in many languages, including Spanish (19), Chinese(27), India (20), Portuguese(28), Swedish (29). Since there is a great need for a valid hearing loss measurement tool in the Persian language, the present study was aimed to validate and adapt the original English version of HHIE-S into Persian language and consequently using HHIE-S among older adults.