Tinnitus Functional Index

Tinnitus Functional Index

January 07, 2015 In the News

The Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) was reported by Henry et al (2014). They report five stages of TFI development through which prototypes were developed, tested, and revised over a four-year period. The TFI has eight subscales that address the intrusiveness of tinnitus, the sense of control the patient has, cognitive interference, sleep disturbance, auditory issues, relaxation issues, quality of life, and emotional distress. The authors report that “because of its responsiveness to treatment-related change, as well as its other psychometric properties and comprehensive coverage of the domains of tinnitus impact, the TFI could be used as a standard instrument for both clinical and research settings….” 

Henry et al report the general guidelines to help facilitate interpretation of the TFI scores based on the overall means and ranges of TFI scores.  


  • Mean score of 14 (range 0-17) not a problem.
  • Mean score of 21 (range 18-31) small problem.
  • Mean score of42 (range 32-53) moderate problem.
  • Mean score of 65 (range 54-72) big problem.
  • Mean score of 78 (range 73-100) very big problem.

Further, the authors report another way to quickly interpret TFI scores includes a quick range analysis such that a TFI score of 25 or less than 25 TFI score indicates relatively mild tinnitus and little or need for intervention.  A TFI score ranging from 25-50 indicates significant problems with tinnitus and a possible need for intervention. A TFI score of 50 or greater on the TFI indicates “tinnitus severe enough to qualify for more aggressive intervention.” The authors note a “meaningful change” occurs when TFI scores are reduced by 13 or more.

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Henry JA, Stewart BJ, Abrams HB, Newman CW, Griest S, Martin WH, Myers PJ, Searchfield G. (2014) Tinnitus Functional Index—Development and Clinical Application. Audiology Today 26(6):40-48.

These are the final 25 items of the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) with scoring instructions.

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