Is it the sound or your relationship to it? The role of acceptance in predicting tinnitus impact

Behav Res Ther. 2008 Dec;46(12):1259-65. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2008.08.008. Epub 2008 Sep 11.


Tinnitus is an experience of sound in the absence of an appropriate external source. A symptom that can accompany most central or peripheral dysfunctions of the auditory system, tinnitus can lead to significant distress, depression, anxiety, and decreases in life quality. This paper investigated the construct of psychological acceptance in a population of tinnitus patients. First, a cross-sectional study (N=77) was conducted in which a tinnitus specific acceptance questionnaire was developed. Results showed that a Tinnitus Acceptance Questionnaire (TAQ) generated good internal consistency. A factor solution was derived with two factors: activity engagement and tinnitus supression. Second, a longitudinal study (N=47) investigated the mediating role of acceptance on the relationship between tinnitus distress at baseline and tinnitus distress, anxiety, life quality, and depression at a 7-month follow-up. The results showed full mediation of activity engagement for depression and life quality at follow-up, partial mediation for tinnitus distress, and no mediation for anxiety. The role of acceptance in the negative impact of tinnitus distress merits further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Time Factors
  • Tinnitus / psychology*
  • Tinnitus / therapy