Internet versus group cognitive-behavioral treatment of distress associated with tinnitus: a randomized controlled trial

Behav Ther. 2008 Dec;39(4):348-59. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2007.10.003. Epub 2008 Apr 20.


Tinnitus distress can be reduced by means of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), and the treatment can be delivered in different ways. The most recent format is Internet-based self-help. The aim of this study was to compare this treatment (n= 26) with standard group-based CBT (n=25) in a randomized controlled trial. Outcomes on self-report inventories measuring tinnitus distress were evaluated immediately after and 1 year after treatment. Results showed that both groups had improved, and there were few differences between them. The effect size for the Internet treatment was d=0.73 (95% CI=0.16-1.30) and for the group treatment was d=0.64 (95% CI=0.07-1.21). The Internet treatment consumed less therapist time and was 1.7 times as cost-effective as the group treatment. At pretreatment patients rated the Internet treatment as less credible than the group treatment. In conclusion, Internet treatment for tinnitus distress merits further investigation, as the outcomes achieved are promising.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tinnitus / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome