The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) has presented the prestigious industry award, the Marie & Jack Shapiro Prize, to two teams of tinnitus clinicians and researchers at the BTA's 25th Annual Conference in Birmingham, which was attended by audiologists, hearing professionals, researchers and BTA members.
The winning papers were ‘Audiologist guided internet based cognitive behaviour therapy for adults with tinnitus in the United Kingdom: a randomized controlled trial’ by Eldré Beukes, David Baguley, Peter Allen, Vinaya Manchaiah, and Gerhard Andersson, and ‘Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy as a treatment for chronic tinnitus: a randomized controlled trial’ by Laurence McKenna, Elizabeth Marks, Chris Hallsworth and Roland Schaette.
The winning papers were chosen from a shortlist of 26. The judging panel was formed of the BTA's Professional Advisers' Committee.
Psychological treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy are a proven intervention for reducing tinnitus distress. Beukes and her colleagues assessed an internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) intervention for those experiencing tinnitus in the United Kingdom.
The judges considered that the paper is: "an important trial of audiologist supported internet CBT, which indicates valuable benefits for patients in terms of improved quality of life and also potential savings for the NHS in terms of clinician time."
Another psychological approach is mindfulness behavioural cognitive therapy (MCBT) which has been successfully used to manage depression and chronic pain. McKenna and Marks conducted a study assessing the effectiveness of MCBT for tinnitus and compared it to current standard relaxation treatment.
The judges commented: "[this is] a very thorough study and well-presented paper, likely to encourage others in the field to undergo further training and consider offering this in their service" and that it "further enhances the evidence based management options available."
David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the British Tinnitus Association, said: "We are delighted that two papers which have obvious clinical benefits and potential to improve the quality of life for people with tinnitus have been awarded the Marie & Jack Shapiro Prize. There were a record number of research papers in the running this year, and the increased interest in tinnitus is very heartening to see, and bodes well as we drive progress towards a cure."
The Marie & Jack Shapiro Prize is given each year at the BTA Conference to the piece of published research, by a UK based author, "most likely to result in improved treatment or public awareness of tinnitus," that was published in the last calendar year. The prize is named after the late Jack Shapiro, the founder of the British Tinnitus Association, and his wife Marie, who both played an important role in the establishment of the charity and in raising awareness of tinnitus.