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Int J Clin Exp Med. 2012;5(4):273-88. Epub 2012 Aug 22.

Long-term effects of the "Heidelberg Model of Music Therapy" in patients with chronic tinnitus.

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German Center for Music Therapy Research (Deutsches Zentrum für Musiktherapieforschung (Viktor Dulger Institut) DZM e.V.) Heidelberg, Germany.



The "Heidelberg Model of Music Therapy for Chronic Tinnitus" is a manualized short term treatment (nine 50-minutes sessions of individualized therapy on five consecutive days). It has proven to be efficient in reducing tinnitus symptoms in the short run. Now the long-term impact of the treatment after up to 5.4 years should be explored.


206 patients who had attended the neuro-music therapy were addressed in a structured follow-up questionnaire survey. 107 complete questionnaires entered analysis. Follow-up time was 2.65 (SD 1.1) years.


76% of the patients achieved a reliable reduction in their tinnitus scores, the overall tinnitus distress as measured by the Mini-TQ diminished from 11.9 (SD = 4.9) to 7.4 (SD = 5.2) points, 87% of the patients were satisfied by the way they were treated during therapy, and 71% of the patients did not undergo any further treatment after. Evaluation of therapeutic elements displays, that only music therapy specific interventions were rated helpful by the patients. Tinnitus related factors (such as tinnitus pitch or loudness, time since onset) did not influence therapy outcome but female gender, positive therapeutic relationship, and higher initial Mini-TQ scores became apparent as factors predicting better chances for greater therapy success.


The "Heidelberg Model of Music Therapy for Chronic Tinnitus" seems to be effective in the long run. The outcome effect size of d' = 0.89, can be accounted for as "large" effect and falls into the upper range value compared to established treatments.


Music Therapy; logistic regression; long-term outcome; odds ratio; tinnitus; tinnitus questionnaire


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