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

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Is tinnitus acceptance the same as tinnitus habituation?

Author(s): Caroline Croft; Rhonda Frances Brown; Einar B Thorsteinsson and William Noble

INTRODUCTION: Tinnitus habituation and tinnitus acceptance both describe an apparent lack of responding to tinnitus noise. However, no prior studies have evaluated the possible overlap between tinnitus habituation and acceptance processes in chronic tinnitus sufferers.

OBJECTIVES: We examined responses to the seven acceptance items from the Tinnitus Response Scales (TRS) along with 19 items that tapped the perceptual/behavioural aspects of tinnitus habituation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A large sample of chronic tinnitus sufferers (n = 273) were recruited via advertisements placed at tinnitus clinics and websites and in the media. They were asked to complete an online survey asking about their tinnitus history and recent experiences of tinnitus habituation, sensitization to tinnitus noise, and tinnitus acceptance, and distress.

RESULTS: Exploratory factor analysis showed that a single factor solution explained 40% of the variance in the scale items. Acceptance and tinnitus habituation (vs. sensitization) subscale scores were highly negatively correlated with each other.

CONCLUSION: Tinnitus acceptance and tinnitus habituation may describe related cognitive and perceptual/behavioral aspects of tinnitus adaptation. That is in this study, tinnitus-habituation items tapped perceptual awareness and behavioral responses to tinnitus, whereas tinnitus acceptance items tapped cognitive responses to the noise (i.e. lack of need to respond to the noise).