Questionnaires in otology: a systematic mapping review

Koen Viergever, Jeroen T. Kraak, Els M. Bruinewoud, Johannes C.F. Ket, Sophia E. Kramer, Paul Merkus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are valuable tools in assessing the quality of health care from a patient perspective and are increasingly used by otologists. However, selecting the right questionnaire has proven to be a difficult and time-consuming task. To facilitate this process, we will provide a comprehensive overview of existing questionnaires. Methods: A systematic literature search has been conducted on August 26, 2019, using the EMBASE and PubMed medical databases. 13,345 unique records were extracted. Questionnaires addressing any otologic complaint (tinnitus, hearing loss, earache, otorrhoea, and ear-related pressure sensation, vertigo, itch, or dysgeusia) were identified. All questionnaires were evaluated for eligibility by two independent researchers. Inclusion criteria were adult population, closed-ended questions, English language of the questionnaire, and the availability of the original article describing the development of the instrument or a validation paper describing the validation process written in English. Objective: Create a comprehensive overview of all validated closed-ended otology questionnaires for adults and demonstrate their basic characteristics. Main outcome measure: The number of questionnaires in English literature for the adult population, subdivided per symptom and target population. Results: A total of 155 unique questionnaires were selected: 33 tinnitus questionnaires, 23 vertigo questionnaires, 84 hearing loss questionnaires, and 15 multiple complaint questionnaires. A protocol for further questionnaire comparison is presented. Discussion: Two separate sequential searches were needed to identify unique questionnaires and to identify their development/validation paper. Although many ear diseases create multiple symptoms, the majority of the questionnaires were symptom specific. Conclusion: Many questionnaires concerning ear-related symptoms exist and predominantly concern hearing loss, vertigo, or tinnitus. Only a few questionnaires cover the multiple complaints that ear diseases can create. The presented overview is the most comprehensive overview of otology questionnaires in literature to date. It will serve as a basis for questionnaire selection by professionals and could serve as a protocol for questionnaire selection in other fields. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42017058155

Original languageEnglish
Article number119
JournalSystematic reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Ear diseases
  • Otolaryngology
  • Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs)
  • Questionnaires

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