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Multidisciplinary Treatment of Chronic Tinnitus: Challenges and Results of a Day Care Approach
18 April 2018 (online)
In the absence of drug therapy for chronic tinnitus, multidisciplinary treatment is recommended due to the often accompanying symptoms (e.g., problems with hearing, sleep and concentration, muscular tension). In the Tinnitus Center Jena (TZJ) tinnitus patients are offered a day care treatment, which is performed by ENT doctors, psychotherapists and physiotherapists as well as audiologist.
The day care treatment included a screening day (T0), 5-day therapy (beginning T1, end T2) and follow-up at 2.5 weeks (T3) and 6 months (T4) after T2. Inclusion criteria: chronic tinnitus (over 3 months) with distress. The aim of the therapy was the reduction of tinnitus-related distress, which was assessed by German version of Tinnitus questionnaire (TQ, Goebel and Hiller, 1998).
Only 30% of patients examined in the TZJ met the inclusion criteria. Due to the comorbidities, often other therapies had to be initiated or the therapy goal was not accepted. This multidisciplinary initial contact challenge and the data on the 308 patients treated will be reported.
The tinnitus distress is significantly reduced after the multidisciplinary screening from 52.36 to 48.79 points in the TQ at T1 and even more to the T2 to 34.29 points in the TQ. These results remain stable at T3 and T4.
The five-day day care treatment by a multidisciplinary team leads to a significant and stable reduction of the tinnitus-related distress. Nonetheless, the proportion of patients who are looking for a "cure" and do not want to participate in a multidisciplinary treatment is still relatively large.