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Comparing Costs and Benefits of Tinnitus Management Programs

Comparing Costs and Benefits of Tinnitus Management Programs

May 21, 2012 In the News

Newman and Sandridge (2012) report that sound therapy and counseling have achieved widespread acceptance among audiologists as the protocol of choice for managing tinnitus patients. However, due to the contemporary economic climate and realities, they report it is critical for clinicians to justify the value of their treatments, even though the “selection of a particular therapy option should not be isolated solely to economic factors….”

As such, they reported on 56 patients from the Tinnitus Management Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic with regard to comparing tinnitus treatments based on sound generators (SGs) and the neuromonics tinnitus treatment (NTT) device (the NTT uses a spectrally modified music stimulus).  The tool they used to measure tinnitus was the tinnitus handicap inventory (THI).  When comparing THI scores at baseline (pre-treatment) to THI scores six months post-treatment, both groups (SG and NTT) demonstrated  a significant reduction in tinnitus for SG and NTTs. However, there were no differences in the SG or NTT treatment groups.

Newman and Sandridge conclude that both protocols (SG and NTT) yielded significant improvements with regard to quality of life (HRQoL)issues, based on the THI improvements, and they report that SG appears to be more cost efficient than NTT. Indeed, with specific regard to Newman and Sandridge, Jacobson (2012) notes  “the cost per unit of improvement (treatment utility) on the THI (that has a scale from 1–100 points) measured in “quality-adjusted life years” was $604 per point for the sound generator treatment compared to $1,771 per point for the neuromonics treatment. The implication here is that equivalent gains might be obtained at a lesser cost to the patient.”

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Baigi A, Oden A, Almlid-Larsen V, Barrenas ML, Holgers KM.(2011) Tinnitus in the General Population With a Focus on Noise and Stress—A Public Health Study. Ear & Hearing 32(6)787–789.

Beck  DL. (2011) Hearing Aid Amplification and Tinnitus:2011. Hearing Journal 64(6):12–14.

Jacobson G. (2012) Tinnitus Relief- At What Cost? Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 23(2):80.

Kochkin S, Tyler R, Born J. (2011) MarkeTrak VIII: The Prevalence of Tinnitus in the United States and the Self-Reported Efficacy of Various Treatments. Hearing Review18(12):10–26.

Newman CW, Sandridge SA. (2012) A Comparison of benefit and Economic Value Between Two Sound Therapy Tinnitus Management Options. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 23:126–138.

Sanchez TG, Akemi MA. (2008) Modulating Tinnitus with Visual, Muscular and Tactile Stimulation. Seminars in Hearing, Tinnitus Part Two., 29(4).

Stouffer LJ, Tyler RS. (1990) Characterization of Tinnitus by Tinnitus Patients. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders 55:439–453.

Tyler RS. (2012) Patient Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Tinnitus Treatment. Journal  of the American Academy of Audiology 23:115–125.

Tyler RS, Haskell GB, Gogel SA, Gehringer AK. (2008) Establishing a Tinnitus Clinic in Your Practice. American Journal of Audiology 17(1):25–37.

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