The International Tinnitus Journal


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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


Coping with Tinnitus: Two Studies of Psychological and Audiological Characteristics of Patients with High and Low Tinnitus-Related Distress

Author(s): Jane L. Henry, Peter H. Wilson

Two studies are described which were designed to investigate the relationship between psychological distress and tinnitus. In the fIrst study, four groups of subjects (N=72) who differed in degree of tinnitus-related distress were compared on audiological measures. No differences were found between the four groups on loudness, pitch and minimum masking level when employing the Bonferroni correction which controls for inflation of the Type I error rate when conducting multiple statistical tests on the same set of data. The univariate tests indicated that the more severely distressed tinnitus sufferers experienced loud tinnitus as measured by a loudness match procedure. In the second study, 81 tinnitus patients were categorised as either displaying high or low tinnitus-related distress. The two groups were compared on various measures including level of depressive symptomatology, reported use of coping strategies, perceived benefIts from these coping strategies, reported engagement in depression-related negative cognitions, and tinnitus-specifIc dysfunctioning thinking. High distress subjects were found to have elevated scores on the Beck Depression Inventory. These subjects also reported engaging in more dysfunctional thinking specifIcally in relation to tinnitus. The implications of the fIndings of the two studies are discussed.