A cross-sectional questionnaire study of tinnitus awareness and impact in a population of adult cochlear implant users

Gomersall, Philip A. and Baguley, David and Carlyon, Robert P. (2018) A cross-sectional questionnaire study of tinnitus awareness and impact in a population of adult cochlear implant users. Ear and Hearing . ISSN 1538-4667

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Abstract

Objectives: The primary aim was to identify the proportion of individuals within the adult cochlear implant population who are aware of tinnitus and those who report a negative impact from this perception, using a bespoke questionnaire designed to limit bias. A secondary aim was to use qualitative analysis of open-text responses to identify themes linked to tinnitus perception in this population.

Design: A cross-sectional questionnaire study of a large clinical population who received an implant from Cambridge University Hospitals, United Kingdom.

Results: Seventy-five percent of respondents reported tinnitus awareness. When impact scores for six areas of difficulty were ranked, 13% of individuals ranked tinnitus their primary concern and nearly a third ranked tinnitus in the top two positions. Tinnitus impact was not found to reduce with duration since implantation. The most common open-text responses were linked to a general improvement postimplantation and acute tinnitus alleviation specific to times when the device was in use.

Conclusions: Tinnitus is a problem for a significant proportion of individuals with a cochlear implant. Clinicians, scientists, and cochlear implant manufacturers should be aware that management of tinnitus may be a greater priority for an implantee than difficulties linked to speech perception. Where a positive effect of implantation was reported, there was greater evidence for masking of tinnitus via the implant rather than reversal of maladaptive plasticity.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Clinical Neuroscience
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0000000000000601
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2018 12:31
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 10:00
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/50914

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