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Psychosomatics. 2006 Jul-Aug;47(4):282-8.

Relationship between tinnitus severity and psychiatric disorders.

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Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Dept. of Psychiatry, Sahlgrenska Univ. Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.


A close association between tinnitus and psychiatric disorders has been demonstrated, but little is known about how the severity of tinnitus is related to these disorders. The authors investigated the strength of the association between tinnitus and both the prevalence and severity of anxiety and depressive disorders. One study group consisted of 80 consecutive patients and another of 144 patients who were deemed by screening to be at high risk for severe and disabling tinnitus. The severity of tinnitus was assessed by clinical gradings on a 3-point scale and by the Tinnitus Severity Questionnaire. DSM-III-R criteria were used to identify psychiatric disorders by structured clinical interview. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale (CPRS-S-A) were used to assess the severity of anxiety and depression. There was a correlation between the severity of tinnitus and depression in both study groups; however, the corresponding correlations for anxiety disorders were lower, and reached statistical significance only in the high-risk group. Various measures found significant correlations between the severity of tinnitus and the severity of depression and anxiety. We conclude that the severity of tinnitus is associated with psychiatric disorders, as well as with the severity of anxiety and depression in tinnitus patients, and may account for approximately 20% of the variance of the observed association.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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