Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Psychotherapy Quiets Concerns Over Ringing In The Ears

Date:
January 29, 2007
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
Psychotherapy may help tinnitus suffers cope with the life disturbances that sometimes accompany their condition, according to a new review of studies. Tinnitus is a sensation of ringing or other noise when there is no external cause for the sound. A counseling method called cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT seems to amplify patients' quality of life, even when the volume of the noise remains the same.

Psychotherapy may help tinnitus suffers cope with the life disturbances that sometimes accompany their condition, according to a new review of studies.

Related Articles


Tinnitus is a sensation of ringing or other noise when there is no external cause for the sound. A counseling method called cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT seems to amplify patients' quality of life, even when the volume of the noise remains the same.

"It's a way of working on beliefs and changing psychological responses to tinnitus," said lead reviewer Pablo Martinez-Devesa. "Usually you'd assess the patient's feelings and perceptions of tinnitus, then introduce education on the possible causes. Then, through several sessions, you would try to change the attitudes of patients toward the tinnitus."

The review of six small randomized controlled trials gathered data on 285 patients. The article appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates research in all aspects of health care. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing trials on a topic.

Tinnitus affects up to 18 percent of people in industrialized countries, according to the review. The vast majority of people with the condition do not seek treatment but cope with the noise inside their head on their own.

But between 0.5 percent and 3 percent of adults with tinnitus have a chronic condition severe enough to impinge on their life. Among these sufferers, sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression are common.

After participating in CBT, tinnitus sufferers reported greater overall satisfaction with their life, compared to a similar group of patients who did not receive CBT treatment, the Cochrane review found.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is used with good success as a treatment for depression. So Martinez-Devesa and his team thought CBT might lift the mood of tinnitus sufferers. "We were expecting, perhaps, to see a bigger improvement on the symptoms of depression, but we didn't find it," he said. Martinez-Devesa said the collected studies included just a small number of people with severe depression, so it may have been difficult to perceive a change in mood.

CBT also failed to produce significant improvements in the subjective [or perceived] volume of tinnitus, the review found.

Tinnitus researcher Robert Folmer said how people react or deal with the perception of sound is what separates a sufferer from someone who is little bothered by tinnitus. Folmer, an associate professor of otolaryngology at Oregon Health and Science University, was not on the Cochrane review team.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people with life and coping skills, is widely available throughout the United States, but Folmer suspects that few American practitioners are using CBT to treat tinnitus.

"We refer a lot of people for psychological counseling, including CBT, but the problem is we never know what they are going to get when they go there," Folmer said. "When I say CBT that means something different to everyone. There's a wide range of what that could be."

Martinez-Devesa says gold-standard cognitive behavioral therapy would include patient education about the condition. But Folmer said that even without specific knowledge about tinnitus, a CBT provider can still be helpful.

"Even though a therapist doesn't know anything about tinnitus, if they help the patient with co-symptoms, our studies have shown that the severity of tinnitus goes down, if those other factors improve," he said.

Often, doctors are at a loss for ways to effectively treat chronic tinnitus. In those cases, helping someone with related conditions like anxiety or sleeping problems becomes the best solution, Folmer said.

Reference: Martinez-Devesa P, et al. Cognitive behavioural therapy for tinnitus (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 1.

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international nonprofit, independent organization that produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. Visit http://www.cochrane.org for more information.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Psychotherapy Quiets Concerns Over Ringing In The Ears." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070128140554.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (2007, January 29). Psychotherapy Quiets Concerns Over Ringing In The Ears. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070128140554.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Psychotherapy Quiets Concerns Over Ringing In The Ears." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070128140554.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) A judge has approved a potential $1 billion plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits filed by retired players. The NFL expects 6,000 of nearly 20,000 retired players to suffer from Alzheimer&apos;s disease or moderate dementia someday.(April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2015) The use of complex tools has often been seen as a defining characteristic of humanity, but that notion is now in question. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins