• Understanding the links between hearing impairment and dementia: development and validation of the Social and Emotional Impact of Hearing Impairment (SEI-HI) questionnaire

      Littlejohn, Jenna; orcid: 0000-0001-7447-3810; email: jenna.littlejohn@manchester.ac.uk; Blackburn, Daniel; Venneri, Annalena (Springer International Publishing, 2020-06-10)
      Abstract: Background: The links between hearing impairment (HI) and dementia have been well documented, but factors mediating this relationship remain unknown. Major consequences of HI are social and emotional dysfunction, and as the risk of dementia increases linearly with the severity of HI, it is plausible that socio-emotional difficulties may play a role in this association. Objective: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a tool to analyse levels of hearing-related disability, to investigate ultimately whether subjective disability contributes to risk of cognitive impairment compared with hearing thresholds alone. Methods: Development and validation of the questionnaire, the Social and Emotional Impact of Hearing Impairment (SEI-HI), was conducted in four phases: (1) content; (2) scoring and outcomes; (3) validation; (4) feasibility in a sample of people with cognitive impairment. Results: Considerable evidence was found for the internal and external reliability of the tool with high construct validity, concurrent validity and test-retest values of the SEI-HI questionnaire. A feasibility check on 31 patients with mild cognitive impairment or dementia showed the SEI-HI questionnaire was easy to administer and well-received. Conclusion: The SEI-HI questionnaire is a relevant instrument to assess hearing-related disability which can be used in people with cognitive decline to assess further impact on risk of developing dementia.