Objective: Hearing loss (HL) affects the everyday functioning of millions of people worldwide. The Brief International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) core sets for HL was developed to meet the complex health care needs of adults with HL. Because the brief core set for HL has not yet been validated internationally, the aim of this study was to investigate aspects of validity of the Brief ICF core set for HL from an international perspective.
Design: A cross-sectional validation study based on data from structured interviews with adults with HL.
Study sample: Participants (n=571) from India, South Africa, Sweden and the US were included.
Results: A six-factor solution explained 71% of the variance, focusing on issues related to communication, the social environment, participation in society, health care services, support, relations and emotions (α=0.915). Three ICF categories demonstrated low reliability; temperament and personality functions, seeing functions and school education.
Conclusion: The Brief ICF core set for HL is valid for adults with HL internationally. However, to further increase the international validity of the core set, a recommendation is to add the categories d920 recreation and leisure, and to replace d850 school education with the more inclusive block, d810-d839 education.