Quality of questionnaires for the assessment of otitis media with effusion in children

Wei Chern Gan, Richard, Daniel, Matija, Ridley, Matthew and Barry, Johanna G. (2017) Quality of questionnaires for the assessment of otitis media with effusion in children. Clinical Otolaryngology, 43 (2). pp. 572-583. ISSN 1749-4486

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Audiometric tests provide information about hearing in otitis media with effusion (OME). Questionnaires can supplement this information by supporting clinical history‐taking as well as potentially providing a standardized and comprehensive assessment of the impact of the disease on a child. There are many possible candidate questionnaires. This study aimed to assess the quality and usability of parent / child questionnaires in OME assessment.

Design and main outcome measures

Fifteen, published questionnaires, commonly used in audiological departments (Auditory Behaviour in Everyday Life (ABEL), Children's Auditory Performance Scale (CHAPS), Children's Home Inventory for Listening Difficulties (CHILD), Children's Outcome Worksheets (COW), Evaluation of Children's Listening and Processing Skills (ECLiPS), Early Listening Function (ELF), Fisher's Auditory Problem Checklist (FAPC), Hearing Loss 7 (HL‐7), Listening Inventory for Education‐ Revised (LIFE‐R Student), Listening Inventory for Education UK Individual Hearing Profile (LIFE‐UK IHP), LittlEARS Auditory Questionnaire (LittlEARS), Listening Situations Questionnaire (LSQ), Otitis Media 6 (OM‐6), Quality of Life in Children's Ear Problems (OMQ‐14), Parents’ Evaluation of Aural/Oral Performance of Children (PEACH) were assessed according to the following 8 criteria: conceptual clarity, respondent burden, reliability, validity, normative data, item bias, ceiling/ floor effects, and administrative burden.


ECLiPS, LittlEARS and PEACH scored highest overall based on the assessment criteria established for this study. None of the questionnaires fully satisfied all 8 criteria. Although all questionnaires assessed issues considered to be of at least adequate relevance to OME, the majority had weaknesses with respect to the assessment of psychometric properties, such as item bias, floor/ceiling effects or measurement reliability and validity. Publications reporting on the evaluation of reliability, validity, normative data, item bias and ceiling/floor effects were not available for most of the questionnaires.


This formal evaluation of questionnaires, currently available to clinicians, highlights three questionnaires as potentially offering a useful adjunct in the assessment of OME in clinical or research settings. These were the ECLiPS, which is suitable for children aged 6 years and older, and either the LittlEARS or the PEACH for younger children. The latter two are narrowly focused on hearing, whereas ECLiPS has a broader focus on listening, language and social difficulties.

Item Type: Article
RIS ID: https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/898623
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Clinical Neuroscience
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/coa.13026
Depositing User: Turrell, Jenny
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 14:13
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:21
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/47903

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