New challenges for clinical health psychology in diagnosis and therapy of tinnitus
More details
Hide details
Submission date: 2014-04-23
Final revision date: 2014-06-15
Acceptance date: 2014-06-15
Online publication date: 2014-07-02
Publication date: 2014-07-03
Health Psychology Report 2014;2(2):115–122
Tinnitus is becoming a social issue as the number of individuals suffering from this condition is still increasing. The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics of tinnitus and related distress, as well as general psychiatric distress of affected individuals.

Participants and procedure
The study included 169 tinnitus patients aged between 22 and 88 years (mean 53.52). The duration of tinnitus ranged between 5 months and 30 years (mean 5.29 years). The participants presented either with normal hearing or with hearing loss. The study was based on a standardized interview and examination with two psychometric instruments: the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI).

Duration of tinnitus, its subjective severity, experiencing negative emotions and lack of social support turned out to be a composite measure determining the level of tinnitus-related distress. In turn, the level of psychiatric distress was determined by sex of the participants, presence of difficulties in life, subjective severity of tinnitus and lack of social support.

Characteristics of tinnitus and its psychological consequences affect various functional aspects and health of the affected patients. The diagnostic instruments used in the study (THI and GHQ-28) proved to be appropriate and identified a subset of tinnitus patients who required appropriate psychotherapeutic intervention. The complex situation of patients experiencing subjective signs of tinnitus points to a necessity of cooperation between specialists in laryngology and psychologists, as a vital component of multidisciplinary evaluation and the therapeutic process.
Aksoy, S., Firat, Y., & Alpar, R. (2007). The Tinnitus Handicap Inventory: a study of validity and reliability. International Tinnitus Journal, 13, 94-98.
Bartnik, G., & Borawska, B. (2002). Program terapii szumów usznych metodą Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) [The Program of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy]. Warszawa: Instytut Fizjologii i Patologii Słuchu.
Erlandsson, S. I., & Hallberg, L. R. (2000). Prediction of quality of life in patients with tinnitus. British Journal of Audiology, 34, 11-20.
Fabijańska, A. (1998). Badania epidemiologiczne szumów usznych i nadwrażliwości słuchowej na świecie i w Polsce [Epidemiological research of tinnitus in the world and Poland]. In S. Skarżyński (ed.). Szumy uszne i nadwrażliwość na dźwięki [Tinnitus and hypersensitivity of sounds] (pp. 35-41). Warszawa: Instytut Fizjologii i Patologii Słuchu.
Figueiredo, R. R., Azevedo, A. A., & Oliveira Pde, M. (2009). Correlation analysis of the visual-analogue scale and the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory in tinnitus patients. Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology, 75, 76-79.
Henry, J. L., & Wilson, P. H. (2001). Tinnitus: A self-Management Guide for the Ringing in Your Ears. Sydney: Allyn & Bacon Incorporated.
Heszen, I., & Sęk, H. (2007). Psychologia zdrowia [Heath psychology]. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
Kałużny, W., Durko, T., & Pajor, A. (2004). Ocena wpływu szumów usznych na stan emocjonalny chorych na podstawie Kwestionariusza Ogólnego Stanu Zdrowia Goldberga [Impact of tinnitus on emotional state of patients according to General Health Questionnaire by Goldberg]. Otolaryngologia Polska, 58, 851-856.
Kałużny, W., Durko, T., & Pajor, A. (2005). Wpływ szumów usznych na jakość życia w samoocenie chorych [Impact of tinnitus on quality of life in the selfreport]. Otolaryngologia Polska, 59, 271-276.
Karpiesz, L., Latkowska, E., Sarnictwa, I., & Bartnik, G. (2012). Znaczenie współpracy lekarzy i psychologa w rehabilitacji pacjenta z szumem usznym [The role of cooperation between medical and psychological staff in the tinnitus rehabilitation]. Nowa Audiofonologia, 1, 112-115.
Klepas, M., Szymiec, E., Sęk, H., Sowińska, A., & Obrębowska, Z. Psychologiczna charakterystyka pacjentów leczonych z powodu szumów usznych [Psychological characteristic of patients with tinnitus]. Otolaryngologia Polska [in press].
Kotyło, P., Macheta, K., & Śliwińska-Kowalska, M. (2009). Ocena dokuczliwości szumów usznych i ogólnego stanu zdrowia chorych z szumami usznymi przed i po krótkotrwałej rehabilitacji metodą habituacji [Tinnitus annoyance and general health in patients with tinnitus before and after short-term rehabilitation on the basis of habituation]. Otolaryngologia Polska, 8, 23-27.
Kotyło, P., Merecz, D., Niebudek-Bogusz, E., & Śliwińska-Kowalska, M. (2006). Program oceny i interwencji psychologicznej u pacjentów z szumami usznymi [Programm of the psychological diagnosis and intervention in patients with tinnitus]. Otolaryngologia Polska, 5, 189-194.
Newman, C. W., Jacobson, G. P., & Spitzer, J. B. (1996). Development of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory. Archives of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, 122, 143-148.
Pajor, A., Józefowicz-Korczyńska, M., Durko, T., & Ormezowska, E. (2009). Występowanie zaburzeń emocjonalnych u osób z szumami usznymi [Emotional disturbances in patients with tinnitus]. Otolaryngologia Polska, 8, 86-92.
Reich, G. E. (2000). American Tinnitus and Self-Help Groups. In: R. S. Tyler (ed.). Tinnitus Handbook (pp. 419-435). San Diego: Thomson Learning.
Robert, A., & Dobbie, M. D. (2004). Tinnitus: Theory and management. In: J. B. Snow (ed.). Tinnitus: Theory and Management (pp. 1-6). Hamilton: BC Decker Inc.
Robinson, S. K., McQuaid, J. R., Viirre, E. S., Betzig, L. L., Miller, D. L., Bailey, K. A., & Perry, W. (2003). Relationship of tinnitus questionnaires to depressive symptoms, quality of well-being, and internal focus. International Tinnitus Journal, 9, 97-103.
Snow, J. (2004). Specific tinnitus questionairres. In: J. B. Snow (ed.). Tinnitus: Theory and Management (pp. 244-254). Hamilton: BC Decker Inc.
Snow, J. B. (2004). Tinnitus: Theory and Management. Hamilton: BC Decker Inc.
Solly, I., & Erlandsson, D. (2000). Psychological Profiles of Tinnitus Patients. In: R. S. Tyler (ed.). Tinnitus Handbook (pp. 25-53). San Diego: Thomson Learning.
Tyler, R. S. (2000). Tinnitus Handbook. San Diego: Thomson Learning.
Tyler, R. S. (2008). The Consumer Handbook on Tinnitus. San Diego: Auricle Ink Publ.
Zeman, F., Koller, M., Langguth, B., Landgrebe, M., & Tinnitus Research Initiative database study, group (2014). Which tinnitus-related aspects are relevant for quality of life and depression: results from a large international multicentre sample. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 12, 7.
Zielińska-Bliźniewska, H., & Olszewski, J. (2009). Szumy uszne a depresja [Tinnitus and depression]. Otolaryngologia Polska, 63, 20-23.