Research Article  |   January 2013
Readability of Questionnaires Assessing Listening Difficulties Associated With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Samuel R. Atcherson
    University of Arkansas at Little Rock/University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock
  • Cynthia M. Richburg
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana
  • Richard I. Zraick
    University of Arkansas at Little Rock/University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock
  • Cassandra M. George
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana
  • Correspondence to Samuel R. Atcherson: sratcherson@ualr.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Joe Reichle
    Associate Editor: Joe Reichle×
Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Article
Research Article   |   January 2013
Readability of Questionnaires Assessing Listening Difficulties Associated With (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools January 2013, Vol.44, 48-60. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0055)
History: Accepted 25 Jun 2012 , Received 15 Jul 2011 , Revised 04 Nov 2011
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools January 2013, Vol.44, 48-60. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0055)
History: Accepted 25 Jun 2012 , Received 15 Jul 2011 , Revised 04 Nov 2011

Purpose: Eight English-language, student- or parent proxy-administered questionnaires for (central) auditory processing disorders, or (C)APD, were analyzed for readability. For student questionnaires, readability levels were checked against the approximate reading grade levels by intended administration age per the questionnaires' developers. For proxy questionnaires, results were compared to the reading grade level for the average U.S. adult and the minimum 5th- to 6th-grade reading level for health materials as recommended by adult health literacy experts.

Method: This was a descriptive study that was based on the results of a commercially available readability calculations software package. Text-based files of the 8 questionnaires were analyzed using 3 readability formulas: FORCAST (Caylor & Sticht, 1973), Flesch Reading Ease (FRE; Flesch, 1948), and Gunning’s Fog index (FOG; Gunning, 1952).

Results: The FORCAST formula, the most appropriate for nonnarrative-type materials, indicated that all 8 questionnaires were written at reading levels between the 8th and 10th grades. The FRE and FOG formulas, designed for narrative-type materials, were generally in good agreement with one another but varied widely between the upper 4th- and 12th-grade levels.

Conclusion: In an effort to decrease respondent burden, developers should consider readability as another testable psychometric construct. Clinicians should take into account the functional health literacy skills of adult proxy respondents when giving self-administered questionnaires.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access

Related Articles

Treatment of (Central) Auditory Processing Disorder: Bridging the Gap Between the Audiologist and the Speech-Language Pathologist
SIG 9 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood October 2012, Vol.22, 46-56. doi:10.1044/hhdc22.2.46
Listening Characteristics of Children With Central Auditory Processing Disorders
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools April 1992, Vol.23, 145-152. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2302.145
Communication, Listening, Cognitive and Speech Perception Skills in Children With Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) or Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research February 2011, Vol.54, 211-227. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0167)
The Impact of Reading Expressiveness on the Listening Comprehension of Storybooks by Prekindergarten Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools April 2013, Vol.44, 183-194. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0073)
The Relationship Among Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary, Listening Comprehension, Pre-Reading Skills, Word Identification Skills, and Reading Comprehension by Children With Reading Disabilities
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 2007, Vol.50, 1093-1109. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/076)