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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(7):1025-42.

Pilot study to develop telehealth tinnitus management for persons with and without traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Department of Veterans Affairs, Rehabilitation Research and Development National Center for Rehabilitative AuditoryResearch, VA Medical Center, Portland, OR 97207, USA.


Tinnitus, or "ringing in the ears," affects 10%-15% of adults; cases can be problematic and require lifelong management. Many people who have experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI) also experience tinnitus. We developed Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM), which uses education and counseling to help patients learn how to self-manage their reactions to tinnitus. We adapted PTM by delivering the intervention via telephone and by adding cognitive-behavioral therapy. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility and potential efficacy of this approach for individuals with and without TBI. Participants with clinically significant tinnitus were recruited into three groups: probable symptomatic mild TBI (n = 15), moderate to severe TBI (n = 9), and no symptomatic TBI (n = 12). Participants received telephone counseling (six sessions over 6 months) by an audiologist and a psychologist. Questionnaires were completed at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. All groups showed trends reflecting improvement in self-perceived functional limitations due to tinnitus. A follow-up randomized clinical study is underway.

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