Current evidence on efficacy of hearing aids (HAs) on tinnitus perception and annoyance is considered insufficient due to the heterogeneity of tinnitus characteristics and of methods used in the relevant clinical studies. This is a scoping review focused on the methodological aspects of clinical studies evaluating the value of HA fitting as part of tinnitus management over the past 10 years. Thirty-four studies were included in the review, showing important heterogeneity in almost all aspects of inclusion criteria, comparators, outcome measures, follow-up time and HA fitting procedures. Although all studies show that HA fitting has a positive impact on tinnitus perception in patients with hearing loss, the methodological heterogeneity does not allow robust conclusions. Future studies taking into account the different nature and goals of each tinnitus therapeutic modality and adapting their methods, endpoints and timelines according to them could lay the groundwork for obtaining high-quality evidence on whether and how HA fitting shall be implemented in tinnitus management strategies.
Keywords: hearing aid fitting; tinnitus; tinnitus perception.