Self-focused and somatic attention in patients with tinnitus

J Am Acad Audiol. 1997 Jun;8(3):143-9.


Self-focused and somatic attention were examined in a sample of 51 patients with tinnitus using the Self-Focus Sentence Completion Test, Private Self-Consciousness Subscale of the Self-Consciousness Scale, Modified Somatic Perception Questionnaire, and the Somatization Subscale of the Symptoms Checklist-90-Revised. Two subgroups of patients emerged following a cluster analysis of the attentional tasks. One group scored lower on both self-attention and somatic attention measures ("low self-attenders"), whereas a second group was more internally directed and scored higher on the attention measures ("high self-attenders"). Between-group comparisons showed that the high self-attenders were, on average, more depressed, had greater emotional distress due to tinnitus, and had greater perceived tinnitus handicap. In contrast, no differences were observed for pitch and loudness measures using either psychophysical or rating scale techniques. Results of this investigation support the belief that attentional mechanisms play an important role in patients' perception of tinnitus and should be considered when planning management strategies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pitch Perception
  • Psychophysics
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tinnitus / diagnosis*