Associations between Demographics, Tinnitus Specific-, Audiological-, General- and Mental Health Factors, and the Impact of Tinnitus on Daily Life

J Clin Med. 2022 Aug 5;11(15):4590. doi: 10.3390/jcm11154590.


Our objective was to study associations between demographics, tinnitus specific-, audiological-, general- and mental health characteristics, and impact of tinnitus in the general population. In this cross-sectional survey study in the Dutch population, data were prospectively gathered. Tinnitus impact was assessed with the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI). We included participants who experienced tinnitus and for whom a total TFI score could be calculated (n = 212). We performed univariable and multivariable regression analyses. Due to logarithmical transformation, the B-scores were back-transformed to show the actual difference in points on the TFI. People who considered hyperacusis a small problem had a 12.5-point higher TFI score, those who considered it a mediocre problem had a 17.6-point higher TFI score and those who considered it a large problem had a 24.1-point higher TFI score compared to people who did not consider hyperacusis a problem. People who indicated having minor hearing problems had a 10.5-point higher TFI score, those with mediocre hearing problems had a 20.4-point higher TFI score and those with severe hearing problems had a 41.6-point higher TFI score compared to people who did not have subjective hearing problems. In conclusion, audiological risk factors, such as hearing problems and hyperacusis, have the largest association with the impact of tinnitus on daily life, compared to other assessed variables. The results of this study can be used in future research to find targeted interventions to diminish the impact of tinnitus.

Keywords: TFI; associations; risk factors; tinnitus; tinnitus distress; tinnitus impact.

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