Long-Term Results from Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Bauer and Brozoski (2011) reported on 43 participants with tinnitus who were enrolled in one of two groups. The tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) group originally had 21 participants and the control group originally had 22 participants. Eleven participants dropped out of the study, leaving 16 participants in each group. The two groups were balanced for gender, moderate-to-severe tinnitus severity (based on the tinnitus handicap inventory, THI), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores. No significant audiometric differences were present across the two groups upon entering the study and all participants had essentially normal hearing through the speech frequencies.
The TRT group received directive counseling and sound therapy. The control group received only general tinnitus counseling. Both groups were given sophisticated sound generators and custom open, ear molds. Both groups had similar patterns of sound device use.
After 12 to 18 months, both groups demonstrated improvements in their THI scores. For participants in the TRT group, early habituation to their tinnitus likely occurred, rather than a change in the tinnitus sensation. The TRT group demonstrated more robust and clinically significant reductions in their THI scores and in their overall rating of tinnitus awareness. The authors note that TRT does appear to offer real-although-moderate improvement in tinnitus suffering for adults with moderate-to-severe tinnitus, in the absence of hyperacusis, significant hearing loss and/or depression.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Bauer CA, Brozoski TJ. (2011) Effect of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy on the Loudness and Annoyance of Tinnitus: A Controlled Trial. Ear & Hearing 32(2):145-155.