Tinnitus: Characteristics, Need for Therapy, and Therapeutic Outcomes; Results of an International Patient Initiated Platform

Adriana L. Smit, Markku Vesala, Hazel Goedhart, Job van Eijden, Christiaan Wempe, Inge Stegeman

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Introduction: So far, there is a gap of knowledge about factors influencing the impact of tinnitus, the need for treatment, as well as the experienced effect of regular and alternative tinnitus therapies. In this study, we analyzed the need for treatment and the outcomes of these treatments in an international patient initiated in tinnitus platform. Materials and Methods: Two surveys were undertaken at an online tinnitus patient support community (www.tinnitustalk.com). The surveys were aimed at (1) using tinnitus treatment and outcomes and (2) the factors that influence tinnitus. Univariable logistic and linear regression were used to calculate the relation between the factors and the tinnitus impact as well as the relation with the used tinnitus treatments and the outcomes. Results: Of the participants to the first survey (n = 5,017), 2,914 (58.1%) used one or more tinnitus therapies, whereas others most commonly self-administered sound therapy [n = 1,562 (31.1%)] and supplements/herbal medicines [n = 1,157 (23.1 %)]. Being female [odds ratio (OR) 0.83 (95% CI 0.74–0.93, p < 0.01)], tinnitus impact, and some degrees of hearing loss and hyperacusis were all statistically significantly associated with higher odds of having tinnitus treatment. Out of the second survey (n = 6,115), it was found that patient physical and psychological factors were statistically significantly related to tinnitus impact. Conclusion: In this study, we demonstrated the usage and experience of (multiple) tinnitus therapy in patients. Several patient physical and psychological characteristics were found to be related to tinnitus impact and therapy usage. These outcomes might function as the next step to find a personalized treatment and to improve the tinnitus health care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number778450
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2022


  • patients
  • survey
  • therapy
  • tinnitus
  • treatment outcome

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