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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 290425, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/290425
Research Article

Hyperacusis Questionnaire as a Tool for Measuring Hypersensitivity to Sound in a Tinnitus Research Population

1NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, Nottingham NG1 5DU, UK
2Otology and Hearing Group, Division of Clinical Neuroscience, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
3School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK

Received 17 April 2015; Revised 17 June 2015; Accepted 15 July 2015

Academic Editor: Tobias Kleinjung

Copyright © 2015 Kathryn Fackrell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hypersensitivity to external sounds is often comorbid with tinnitus and may be significant for adherence to certain types of tinnitus management. Therefore, a clear measure of sensitivity to sound is important. The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and reliability of the Hyperacusis Questionnaire (HQ) for use as a measurement tool using data from a sample of 264 adults who took part in tinnitus research. We evaluated the HQ factor structure, internal consistency, convergent and discriminant validity, and floor and ceiling effects. Internal consistency was high (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.88) and moderate correlations were observed between the HQ, uncomfortable loudness levels, and other health questionnaires. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the original HQ three-factor solution and a one-factor solution were both a poor fit to the data. Four problematic items were removed and exploratory factor analysis identified a two-factor (attentional and social) solution. The original three-factor structure of the HQ was not confirmed. All fourteen items do not accurately assess hypersensitivity to sound in a tinnitus population. We propose a 10-item (2-factor) version of the HQ, which will need to be confirmed using a new tinnitus and perhaps nontinnitus population.