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Perceptual Components of Tinnitus Severity (Abstract of ARO Meeting Denver, Colorado) Mary Meikle1, James Henry2, Susan Griest1, Barbara Stewart1 1Oregon Health & Science University, 2Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR

Most existing questionnaires for assessing the severity and negative impact of tinnitus tend to empha- size functional or emotional effects of tinnitus. While such measures are important for diagnostic purpo- ses and as outcome measures, they require time periods of several days to several weeks or longer for observation of meaningful changes following treatment. More rapid evaluation of treatment outcomes can be obtained using patients’ reports of the perceptual characteristics of tinnitus such as its loudness, salience, unpleasantness, intrusiveness, and the per- centage of time the tinnitus sensations are perceived. However, the extent to which such perceptual attributes of tinnitus are appropriate indicators of the clinical severity of tinnitus has received relatively little systematic attention. To maximize measurement sensitivity, we designed a 43-item questionnaire to quantify patients’ responses concerning functional, emotional and perceptual aspects of tinnitus, using a 0-10 point response scale for each question. A total of 327 subjects with varying levels of tinnitus, recrui- ted from a diverse group of patients attending clinics in three locations (Oregon, Ohio, Florida), respon- ded to the questionnaires before and after receiving treatment. As expected, the perceptual attributes listed above were positively related to global measures of tinnitus distress, including (1) a Visual Analog Scale and (2) the question “How much of a problem is your tinnitus?” (response levels: 0=Not a problem; 1=Small problem; 2=Moderate problem; 3=Big problem; 4=Very big problem). Effect sizes for the per- ceptual measures (computed for subjects reporting treatment benefit) ranged from 0.49- 1.50. Additional data will be presented concerning the ability of perceptual measures to serve as reliable, sensitive out- come measures for studies that require rapid evaluation of tinnitus treatments having immediate effects, such as stimulation with electrical, magnetic, or acoustic stimuli.

Relationships among speech perception, self-rated tinnitus loudness and disability in tinnitus patients with normal pure-tone thresholds of hearing. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2007;69(1):25-9. Huang CY, Lee HH, Chung KC, Chen HC, Shen YJ, Wu JL Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, ROC.

Exactly how speech perception and tinnitus perception are related remains unclear. This study inves- tigated how tinnitus alone affects speech perception and the relationship between speech perception, tinnitus loudness, and tinnitus disability. The Mandarin Speech Perception in Noise Test (MSPIN), Tin- nitus Loudness Scaling (TLS), and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) were utilized to assess 20 tinnitus patients with normal hearing. The tinnitus group had a significantly lower MSPIN score than the control group (p < 0.01). TLS and THI scores were strongly correlated (r(2): 0.534 approximately 0.627, p < 0.05). Correlations between MSPIN and TLS or THI scores were not significant. Tinnitus loudness cor- related well with tinnitus-related disability. Neither tinnitus loudness nor disability was strongly correlated with speech perception. In noisy environments, tinnitus sufferers had significantly poorer ability to recog- nize speech than control subjects. Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

Sofia profile plot: a new graphical approach to present the changes of hearing thresholds

with time. Adv Otorhinolaryngol. 2007;65:127-131. Lolov S, Edrev G Department of Molecular Immunology, Institute of Biology and Immunology of Reproduction, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria. dr_lolov@yahoo.com

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