What is the role of counseling in the treatment of tinnitus?

Updated: Feb 27, 2020
  • Author: Aaron G Benson, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Usually, patients simply want to know that their tinnitus is not caused by cancer or malignant brain tumor. A skilled counselor can easily provide this reassurance. For most patients, once more serious possibilities are eliminated, counseling suffices. Amplification with hearing aids or other devices may improve subjective tinnitus in more than 50% of patients. Occasionally, the professional services of a psychologist are necessary. The otolaryngologist should be prepared with a teammate who can assist in the care of more complicated tinnitus cases.

In a literature review, Phillips et al, looking at patients in the no-intervention or waiting-list control arm of tinnitus intervention studies, found that, in self-reported results, individuals experienced a small but significant improvement in tinnitus measures over time. Although the investigators could not specify the clinical significance of this, they indicated that the information can be cautiously employed in patient counseling. [17]

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