Cross-cultural adaptation of the tinnitus functional index for measuring chronic tinnitus in Hong Kong Chinese

Chi Shan KAM, Eric LEUNG, Patrick CHAN, Arron CHEUNG, Michael TONG

Research output: Other contributionOther contributions


Introduction and Project Objectives: Tinnitus is fundamentally a self-report phenomenon which is not readily apparent to others except through the complaints of the sufferer. Thus subjective psychometric measures are essential in assessing the severity and impacts of tinnitus, and determining the effectiveness of intervention. The most commonly employed tinnitus assessment and monitoring device for both research and clinical purposes, consists of a tinnitus questionnaire. The Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) was developed by a group of experts including audiologists, otologists, hearing scientists and other health researchers. The TFI has been validated both for scaling the severity and negative impact of tinnitus for use in intake assessment and for measuring treatment responsiveness. The objective of this study was to translate the TFI into Chinese and then validate its use in Chinese Hong Kong patients who are suffering from chronic tinnitus.
Methods: The Chinese version of Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI-CH) was administered to 124 patients with chronic tinnitus in the Audiology clinic in a hospital setting. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the psychometric properties of the questionnaire.
Results: The TFI-CH showed good internal consistency reliability (α = 0.97) and test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.84). Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the TFI-CH has eight factors which are exactly the same as the original version. The TFI-CH has good convergent and divergent validity as supported by the strong correlation of the overall scale with other tinnitus-related distress measures (r = 0.86, P < 0.01) and weaker correlation with the general health status measures. Moderate to strong effect sizes obtained 3 months after initial visit indicated that the TFI-CH is responsive in detecting change in tinnitus suffering.
Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that the TFI-CH is a reliable and valid measure which should be useful in both clinical and research settings for intake assessment and for measuring treatmentrelated changes in tinnitus. Copyright © 2017 Health Research Symposium.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2017


Kam, A., Leung, E., Chan, P., Cheung, A., & Tong, M. (2017, June). Cross-cultural adaptation of the tinnitus functional index for measuring chronic tinnitus in Hong Kong Chinese. Poster presented at the Health Research Symposium 2017: Creating Knowledge in Complex System for Sustainable Community Health, Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Jockey Club Building, Hong Kong, China.


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