Claus Nielsen

Research Audiologist

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A self-assessment questionnaire comprising over 100 items devoted entirely to own-voice perception was developed at Eriksholm. The aim was to create a comprehensive research tool for the investigation of own-voice issues – including but also transcending occlusion-related issues.

A need for targeted material

During the own-voice related research done at Eriksholm, it became apparent that hearing-aid users experience own-voice issues other than occlusion problems. In order to base that statement on more than just anecdotal evidence, it was decided to conduct a large-scale, external substantiation study. Since the existing self-assessment questionnaires typically include very few items on own-voice issues (and very rarely issues beyond occlusion problems), it was decided to develop a new questionnaire focusing exclusively on own-voice related issues.

Development approach

The contents of the questionnaire were to a large extent based on hearing-aid user comments made during other studies, interviews, and general clinical work at Eriksholm. The aim was to make the OVQ tap into actual own-voice issues experienced by hearing-aid users – using their own vocabulary – making the questionnaire easy for the respondents to relate to.

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    Figure 1. Adjectives used by hearing-aid users to describe the sound of their own voice. All the adjectives have been used to define items in the sound-quality section of the OVQ.


The OVQ questionnaire

Two versions of the OVQ questionnaire were developed: One for hearing-aid users and one for non-users (including normal-hearing people). The hearing-aid user version includes more than 100 items organised in sections relating to different own-voice issues; for instance the ability to produce the correct voice level for the occasion, the ability to speak and hear at the same time, and the self-perceived sound quality of own voice. The opening section of the OVQ is shown below. It illustrates the Likert-type response scale, which is used throughout the questionnaire.

Further reading

Laugesen S, Jensen NS, Maas P, Nielsen C (2011). Own Voice Qualities (OVQ) in Hearing-Aid Users. There is more than just occlusion. International journal of audiology, 50(4), p. 226-236.

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    A first attempt at a comprehensive Own Voice Qualities (OVQ) questionnaire
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    Zip file

    An “OVQ-package” zip-file with pdf-documents, including the different OVQ versions in English, German, and Danish, can be obtained here: