INTRODUCTION: Tinnitus is a potentially aggravating symptom without curative treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been proved effective. It aims to learn to cope with tinnitus by reducing fearfull appraisal of tinnitus. Education is an important part of that therapy. Neuropsychological education alone in an early stage of the symptom might reduce the need for extensive therapy.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate change of tinnitus related handicaps after neuropsychological education.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred and six new tinnitus patients without otological ilnesses were educated in a neurophysiological model of tinnitus after otological inspection and audiometry. This was organized as a monthly standard session. Primary outcome was the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) score and subscores before intervention and 6 weeks after with follow up after 12 months. Seventy four participants were included for analysis.
RESULTS: Six weeks post intervention a trend was seen in reduction of catastrophic reactions. After 12 months a significant decrease in THI scores was observed (all p values ≤ 0.01). The majority received no other treatment after the education. There were no significant differences between participants evaluating the workshop positively or negatively with respect to THI scores or tinnitus severity.
CONCLUSION: Neuropsychological education may be a sufficient intervention for new tinnitus sufferers.