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Review
, 166, 511-21

Assessment of Tinnitus: Measurement of Treatment Outcomes

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Review

Assessment of Tinnitus: Measurement of Treatment Outcomes

M B Meikle et al. Prog Brain Res.

Abstract

There is a wide range of assessment techniques for tinnitus, but no consensus has developed concerning how best to measure either the presenting features of tinnitus or the effects of tinnitus treatments. Standardization of reliable and valid tinnitus measures would provide many advantages including improving the uniformity of diagnostic and screening criteria between clinics and facilitating comparison of treatment outcomes obtained at different sites. This chapter attempts to clarify issues involved in developing self-report questionnaires for the assessment of tinnitus. While the tinnitus questionnaires that are currently available provide valuable information on which to base diagnostic and screening decisions, they were not originally developed in such a way as to maximize their sensitivity to treatment-related changes in tinnitus. As a result, their construct validity for measuring treatment benefit has not received appropriate attention. In this paper, special emphasis is devoted to the use of effect sizes as an estimate of the ability of questionnaires (and their individual items) to measure changes associated with treatment. We discuss the criteria relevant to evaluating the effectiveness of a questionnaire for diagnostic purposes vs. for treatment-evaluation purposes, and we present a detailed illustration of how the various criteria have been applied in a recent questionnaire development effort.

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