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Evidence and Evidence Gaps in Tinnitus Therapy


Evidence and Evidence Gaps in Tinnitus Therapy

Gerhard Hesse. GMS Curr Top Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg.


A nearly endless number of procedures has been tried and in particular sold for the treatment of tinnitus, unfortunately they have not been evaluated appropriately in an evidence-based way. A causal therapy, omitting the tinnitus still does not exist, actually it cannot exist because of the various mechanisms of its origin. However or perhaps because of that, medical interventions appear and reappear like fashion trends that can never be proven by stable and reliable treatment success. This contribution will discuss and acknowledge all current therapeutic procedures and the existing or non-existing evidence will be assessed. Beside external evidence, the term of evidence also encompasses the internal evidence, i.e. the experience of the treating physician and the patient's needs shall be included. While there is no evidence for nearly all direct procedures that intend modulating or stimulating either the cochlea or specific cervical regions such as the auditory cortex, there are therapeutic procedures that are acknowledged in clinical practice and have achieved at least a certain degree of evidence and generate measurable effect sizes. Those are in particular habituation therapy and psychotherapeutic measures, especially if they are combined with concrete measures for improved audio perception (hearing aids, CI, hearing therapies).

Keywords: chronic tinnitus; evidence-based medicine; psychosomatic comorbidity; tinnitus therapy.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Mini-TF values (green), HADS A (red) and HADS D (blue) at the start of therapy (1), end of therapy (2), and at the time of the follow-up examination (3)

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