Treating chronic tinnitus: comparison of cognitive-behavioural and habituation-based treatments

Cogn Behav Ther. 2004;33(4):187-98. doi: 10.1080/16506070410029568.


Using a randomized control group trial the long-term efficacy of a habituation-based treatment as conceived by Jastreboff, and a cognitive-behavioural tinnitus coping training were compared. An educational intervention was administered as a control condition. Both treatments were conducted in a group format (habituation-based treatment, 5 sessions; tinnitus coping training, 11 sessions). Educational intervention was delivered in a single group session. Patients were categorized according to their level of disability due to tinnitus (low, high), age and gender and then randomly allocated to the treatment conditions (habituation-based treatment, n = 30; tinnitus coping training, n = 27; educational intervention, n = 20). Data assessment included follow-ups of up to 21 months. Several outcome variables including disability due to tinnitus were assessed either by questionnaire or diary. Findings reveal highly significant improvements in both tinnitus coping training and habituation-based treatment in comparison with the control group. While tinnitus coping training and habituation-based treatment do not differ significantly in reduction of tinnitus disability, improvement in general well-being and adaptive behaviour is greater in tinnitus coping training than habituation-based treatment. The decrease in disability remains stable throughout the last follow-up in both treatment conditions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Tinnitus / psychology
  • Tinnitus / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome