Validation of a Dutch version of the Tinnitus Functional Index in a tertiary referral tinnitus clinic

Jose L. Santacruz*, Rosemarie Arnold, Jolanda Tuinstra, Roy E. Stewart, Pim van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Introduction: Tinnitus is a condition with a subjective nature that requires self-report questionnaires for its assessment. Aspects such as quality of life, sleep or intrusiveness have been addressed by multiple tinnitus questionnaires, but the high responsiveness to treatment effects of the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) makes this questionnaire part of the standard practice in tinnitus screening. To date, the TFI has been translated to more than 20 languages and used in more than 22 countries. In this study, the TFI was translated to Dutch and validated through a clinical population in the Netherlands.

Methods: After a back-translation procedure, the Dutch TFI was filled-out by 377 patients in the tinnitus outpatient clinic at the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department of the University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands. Reliability and construct validity of the questionnaire were assessed by correlations with one other tinnitus questionnaire (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, THI) and with three psychological functioning questionnaires (Rand-36, Cantril's ladder and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)). The eight-factor structure of the Dutch TFI was tested by means of exploratory factor analysis using three different models (ICM-CFA, ESEM and ESEM-CFA).

Results: The Dutch TFI showed a high internal consistency (α = 0.95), and construct validity was proven by moderate-to high-convergent correlations with the THI (r = 0.47-0.79) and by moderate convergent (r = 0.55-0.67) and good-to moderate-divergent (r = 0.12-0.47) correlations with the psychological functioning questionnaires. The eight-factor structure of the TFI was confirmed for the Dutch version by the three models.

Conclusion: The Dutch version of the TFI is a reliable instrument for screening tinnitus impact in a clinical population, and its psychometric properties are comparable to the original TFI and other validated tinnitus questionnaires.

Original languageEnglish
Article number07733
Pages (from-to)e07733
Number of pages11
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2021


  • Tinnitus
  • Questionnaire
  • Validation
  • Translation
  • Psychometric
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Responsiveness
  • Treatment
  • LIFE

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