Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the social isolation measure (SIM) in adults with hearing loss

Eithne Heffernan*, Alia Habib, Melanie Ferguson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties of a brief, hearing-specific outcome measure: the Social Isolation Measure (SIM). Design: In Phase 1, adults with hearing loss were invited to complete an online survey that contained the SIM, a hearing-specific participation questionnaire, a generic activity and participation questionnaire, and a generic loneliness questionnaire. In Phase 2, the participants were asked to complete the SIM for a second time 2–3 weeks following Phase 1. Study Sample: One hundred and sixteen adults with hearing loss completed Phase 1. Ninety-five participants also completed Phase 2. Twenty-nine participants were excluded from the Phase 2 data analysis because they reported that their hearing had changed since Phase 1 or because they completed Phase 2 outside of the 2–3 week interval following Phase 1. Results: In support of its construct validity, the SIM had a strong correlation with the hearing-specific questionnaire and moderate correlations with the generic questionnaires. The findings also supported the internal consistency, interpretability and test-retest reliability of the SIM. Conclusions: The SIM was found to have strong psychometric properties. It could serve as a brief measure of perceived social isolation in research or clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2019


  • adult aural rehabilitation
  • classical test theory
  • hearing loss
  • loneliness
  • outcome measurement
  • psychometric analysis
  • questionnaire validation
  • Social isolation
  • social participation


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