Starting a Tinnitus Practice
Tyler and colleagues* (2008) report that in general, audiologists do have the requisite skills to provide counseling and therapy to/for tinnitus patients. Their approach is patient-oriented and focuses on treating the whole patient.The authors detail three levels of treatment implementation, depending on whether the patient is (1) curious, (2) concerned, or (3) distressed. Tyler and colleagues note effective counseling skills are required and are possessed by most audiologists. Their recommended tinnitus measurement tools include a Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire and a Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire.
Tyler et. al recommend the following treatment options that are offered at most audiology-based practices:
- Patient expectation nurturing,
- Sound therapy via external sounds,
- Hearing aids,
- Wearable sound generators (and tinnitus maskers),
- Non-wearable sound generators, and
- Environmental sounds and music.
Otologic physician referral criteria (sudden onset of unilateral tinnitus, asymmetric hearing loss, recent changes in tinnitus, and pulsatile tinnitus, etc.) and psychiatrist/psychologist referral criteria (significant weight loss/gain, insomnia/hypersomnia, psychomotor retardation/agitation, fatigue, energy loss, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, impaired concentration, indecisiveness, thoughts of death/suicide, depression, and anxiety disorders, etc.) are offered and elaborated on.
For More Information, References and Recommendations:
* Tyler, R.S., Haskell, G.B., Gogel, S.A. Gehringer, A.K. (2008): Establishing a Tinnitus Clinic in Your Practice. American Journal of Audiology, Vol 17, No 1, June, 2008. Pgs 25-37.