We used social and emotional approaches to psychologically evaluate hearing disorders, translating the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults (HHIA) into Japanese and using it to evaluate Japanese adults with sensorineural hearing loss. The HHIA is a 25-item self-assessment scale composed of 2 subscales, emotional and social/situational, which has been used to evaluate adult patients with hearing disorders in Europe and North America. The test-retest reliability of the Japanese version and its screening version (HHIA-S) were excellent (kappa coefficients were 0.912 and 0.842). Due to the limitation of social/situational, items, test-retest reliability was only good (0.6 <kappa coefficient <0.8), possively because of problems in translating these items. We discovered that the average of scores of the HHIA Japanese version was higher in bilateral hearing disorder patients than in those with unilateral hearing disorder. This score peaked in 2 to 10 years after onset and decreased thereafter in bilateral hearing disorder patients. The correlation coefficient between the average hearing level of 7 frequencies and scores of the test was highest among the 4 audiological evaluations. The HHIA Japanese version is thus useful for following up patients with hearing disorders.
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