Patients were instructed to complete two versions of the HDHS. One version pertained to each patient's current postoperative condition, and the other version reflected each patient's memory of his or her preoperative condition.
We tabulated the HDHS responses and analyzed them along with each patient's pre- and postoperative air and bone conduction results.
Ten patients (patients 2, 9, 10, 13, 17, 18, 20, 24, 25, and 27) judged their pre-operative hearing disability and handicap as significant, as their HDHS scores added up to 60 and more (figure 4).
The assumption that the retrospective nature of this study might have skewed patients' perceptions of their preoperative status was demonstrated by the fact that there was a significantly better, although still weak, relationship between the postoperative audiometric and HDHS values (rho = 0.62; p = 0.0034) than there was between the preoperative values.
The difference between pre- and postoperative total HDHS scores ranged from 0 to 49 (figure 5), and the test-retest margin of error was 10.
There was a general trend indicating that an increase in the difference between the pre- and postoperative PTA results was accompanied by a corresponding increase in the difference between the pre- and postoperative HDHS scores.