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Accueil veterinaires comportementalistes Veille bibliographique veterinaires comportementalistes Does sound stimulation have additive effects on cognitive-behavioral treatment of chronic tinnitus?

Does sound stimulation have additive effects on cognitive-behavioral treatment of chronic tinnitus?

Wolfgang Hiller and Christian Haerkötter

Revue : Behaviour Research and Therapy

Received 17 November 2003; revised 2 March 2004; accepted 28 March 2004. Available online 24 July 2004.


Psychological and physiological habituation are major goals in the treatment of patients suffering from chronic tinnitus. This study evaluates whether sound stimulation provided by use of low level white noise generators (NG) enhances the effects of cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT). 124 outpatients with tinnitus of >6 months received manualized group treatment and were randomly assigned to the NG/no NG conditions. Those with moderate tinnitus-related distress obtained four sessions focusing on education, while severely distressed subjects were treated according to a full 10-session CBT program. Outcome was assessed at post-treatment and at 6- and 18-month follow-up. No additive effects due to the NGs could be demonstrated. All groups improved significantly on measures of tinnitus-related distress, dysfunctional cognitions, general psychopathology, depression, hypochondriasis and psychosocial functioning. Beneficial effects of the NGs were only observed for patients with concurrent tinnitus and hyperacusis. As systematic physical stimulation of the auditory system does not further improve the effects of CBT, the importance and strength of psychological interventions are emphasized. The clinical relevance of recently developed ?retraining? approaches accentuating physical stimulation should be reconsidered.

Keywords: Chronic tinnitus; Cognitive-behavioral treatment; Sound stimulation; Noise generators; Hyperacusis

Behaviour Research and Therapy - Volume 43, Issue 5, Pages 595-612 (May 2005)

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