Purpose: Spatial hearing refers to the ability to understand speech and identify sounds in various environments. We assessed the validity of the Korean version of the Spatial Hearing Questionnaire (K-SHQ). Materials and Methods: We performed forward translation of the original English SHQ to Korean and backward translation from the Korean to English. Forty-eight patients who were able to read and understand Korean and received a score of 24 or higher on the Mini-Mental Status Examination were included in the study. Patients underwent pure tone audiometry (PTA) using a standard protocol and completed the K-SHQ. Internal consistency was evaluated using Cronbach’s alpha, and factor analysis was performed to prove reliability. Construct validity was tested by comparing K-SHQ scores from patients with normal hearing to those with hearing impairment. Scores were compared between subjects with unilateral or bilateral hearing loss and between symmetrical and asymmetrical hearing impairment. Results: Cronbach’s alpha showed good internal consistency (0.982). Two factors were identified by factor analysis: There was a significant difference in K-SHQ scores for patients with normal hearing compared to those with hearing impairment. Patients with asymmetric hearing impairment had higher K-SHQ scores than those with symmetric hearing impairment. This is related to a lower threshold of PTA in the better ear of subjects. The hearing ability of the better ear is correlated with K-SHQ score. Conclusion: The K-SHQ is a reliable and valid tool with which to assess spatial hearing in patients who speak and read Korean. K-SHQ score reflects the severity and symmetry of hearing impairment.
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