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Ear Hear. 2012 Sep-Oct;33(5):588-94. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e31824f2a6e.

Tinnitus retraining therapy: mixing point and total masking are equally effective.

Author information

1
Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. rich-tyler@uiowa.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Habituation to tinnitus cannot occur with total masking, an argument made by proponents of "tinnitus retraining therapy." We also compared the effectiveness of retraining therapy with mixing-point masking, total masking, and with counseling alone.

DESIGN:

Forty-eight tinnitus patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: counseling, counseling plus bilateral noise generators set to completely mask the tinnitus, or counseling plus bilateral noise generators with a focus on the mixing point (partial masking just below total masking). A picture-based counseling protocol was used to assist in providing similar counseling among all three groups. The Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire was administered before and after about 12 months of treatment.

RESULTS:

After 12 months, in the counseling group, three of 18 patients benefited significantly, in the mixing-point group, six of 19 patients benefited, and in the total masking group, four of 11 patients benefited from the treatment. The average decrease in the questionnaire was 16.7% for the counseling group, 31.6% for the retraining group, and 36.4% for the total masking group. No significant average differences among groups were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

One premise of retraining therapy is incorrect; a focus on mixing-point masking is not required for habituation.

PMID:
22609540
DOI:
10.1097/AUD.0b013e31824f2a6e
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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