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Cochlear Implants Int. 2013 Jun;14(3):135-41. doi: 10.1179/1754762812Y.0000000014.

Adaptation of the speech, spatial, and qualities of hearing scale for use with children, parents, and teachers.


Subjective assessment of hearing ability in everyday life complements more objective forms of evaluation. A broad evaluation of the additional benefit provided to children by a second bilateral cochlear implant required such an assessment. As no paediatric tool provided detailed evaluation of performance in the areas of daily listening in which benefit was likely to be demonstrated, an adult questionnaire was adapted. Items of the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ) focused mainly, although not exclusively, on hearing functions requiring the binaural system. The adapted child, parent, and teacher versions of the SSQ retained the structure of rating listening performance in everyday scenarios across the domains of speech perception, spatial hearing, and other qualities of hearing. Modifications were minimized, although deletion of some items and wording changes were required, and some subdomains could not be included. Observation periods were introduced so that parents and teachers observe performance prior to providing ratings. The suggested minimum age is 11 years for the child version and 5 years for the parent and teacher versions. Instructions indicate interview-style administration in which interpretation of the described listening scenarios can be clarified and use of the ruler-style response format demonstrated. Researchers applying the SSQ for parents have reported higher performance ratings for bilateral over unilateral cochlear implants, particularly in the spatial hearing domain. Further research should provide evidence for the target age range, compare child and parent responses, and evaluate modifications for use with younger children.


Bilateral cochlear implants; Bilateral hearing aids; Binaural hearing; Children; Hearing loss; Questionnaire; Spatial and qualities of hearing scale; Speech

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