Tinnitus and hyperacusis may have very negative psychological side-effects. Due to their subjective nature it is important to have appropriate tools to assess them. In addition to the routine questionnaires such as THI, HQ, ISI, HADS or VAS, the authors tested several psychological questionnaires (GAD-7, SHAI, MINI-SPIN, OCI-R, PDSS-SR, PHQ-9 and PSWQ-A) in terms of their relevance and applicability for tinnitus and/or hyperacusis cases. Additionally, participants were asked if these questionnaires were relevant to them and would they recommend these to use as an assessment tool for patients suffering tinnitus or hyperacusis. Within one year, 402 patients were approached and 150 patients of a tinnitus and hyperacusis specialist clinic completed questionnaires. The study shows that only one questionnaire concerning an assessment of panic disorder (PDSS-SR) was not found relevant by patients suffering from tinnitus and/or hyperacusis. However, even this one was recommended by 61 % of patients for general use. Even more importantly, 65% of patients taking part in the survey experienced some psychological side-effects of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis. In light of the potential to marginalise tinnitus or hyperacusis to something that patients “need to get used to”, these are important findings suggesting that this group often need a further evaluation to help them with managing their problems. As the authors indicated, the application of psychological questionnaires may help to identify patients who may need further treatment.

Uselfulness of self-report questionnaires for psychological assessment of patients with tinnitus and hyperacusis and patients’ views of the questionnaires.
Aazh H, Moore BCJ.
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Joanna Lemanska

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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