Public health researchers face important challenges if they wish to include measures of hearing or cognitive ability in risk communication studies. We sought validity evidence for self-report measures of hearing and cognitive ability by comparing those measures to performance-based measures and risk information recall. We measured hearing ability (with audiologist-assisted assessment and self report), cognitive ability (with an established performance task and self report), and reactions to direct-to-consumer prescription drug promotion with adults 18 and older (n = 1064) in North Carolina, USA, in 2017. We found moderate correspondence between self-reported hearing loss and audiologist-assessed hearing loss. Both measures also showed a small negative association with recall of presented risk information. Cognitive ability results suggested less substantial correspondence between self report and performance task and the measures differed in predicting risk recall. Our results suggested a moderately efficient measure for hearing ability for research on risk information exposure and retention, and yet also suggested the need for caution regarding future use of self-reported cognitive ability as a substitute for a performance-based measure.
Assessing hearing and cognition challenges in consumer processing of televised risk information
Validation of self-reported measures using performance indicators
Southwell, B. G., Parvanta, S. A., Johnson, M. M., O'Donoghue, A. C., Sullivan, H. W., Ray, S. E., Soloe, C. S., Davis, C. N., & McKenna, N. (2018). Assessing hearing and cognition challenges in consumer processing of televised risk information: Validation of self-reported measures using performance indicators. Preventive Medicine Reports, 11, 145-147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2018.06.008