The International Tinnitus Journal

The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448

Abstract

The Clinician Managing Tinnitus Distress: A Preliminary Study in Clinical Engagement

Author(s): Dunay Schmulian

Background: Tinnitus affects 10% of the population. It has been linked with depression, anxiety, insomnia and suicide. Because tinnitus is a symptom input from a multidisciplinary team of specialized clinicians is required and includes medical, allied health and mental health professionals.  The study launched an enquiry into the knowledge, skills and attitudes of professionals dealing with clients with bothersome tinnitus. Methods and Findings: Through an interpretive phenomenological lens, the life world of six participants, representing audiology (3), psychology (2) and otolaryngology (1) were chronicled. Participants were interviewed about their theoretical framework, the skills they employ, and the attitudes they bring to clinical encounters. The interview concluded with participants sharing a meaningful case. Data reached saturation and the analysis revealed four themes, centered on the value of connection, highlighting activities of reassurance and empowerment, while exposing clinician control and inter-professional criticism. The case studies appeared confessional. Conclusions: The participants' decision to not put shine and polish on a difficult encounter, but to strip away the barriers of learnedness and competence to reveal the fear, vulnerability and genuine care underneath, is an honest barometer of the clinical landscape for these dedicated clinicians.  The critical need for ongoing professional support to clinicians, and further research into the clinician experience were stated.

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