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Volume 44 Number 1 2007
Pages 21 — 32

Abstract - Randomized clinical trial: Group counseling based on tinnitus retraining therapy

James A. Henry, PhD;1-2* Carl Loovis, PhD;3 Melissa Montero, BS;1,3 Christine Kaelin, MBA;1 Kathryn-Anne Anselmi, MEd;3 Rebecca Coombs, MS;3 June Hensley, MA;3 Kenneth E. James, PhD1,4

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development Service National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, VA Medical Center, Portland, OR; 2Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Portland, OR; 3VA Audiology Clinic, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; 4Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, OHSU, Portland, OR
Abstract — The main component of tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is structured counseling. We conducted a randomized clinical trial to test the hypothesis that group educational counseling based on TRT principles would effectively treat veterans who have clinically significant tinnitus. Veterans with clinically significant tinnitus were randomized into one of three groups: educational counseling, traditional support, and no treatment. Subjects in the first two groups attended four 1.5 h group sessions each week. All subjects completed outcome questionnaires at baseline and at 1, 6, and 12 mo. A total of 269 subjects participated: 94 in the educational counseling group, 84 in the traditional support group, and 91 in the no-treatment group. Statistical analyses showed that educational counseling provided significantly more benefit than either traditional support or no treatment, as measured by the Tinnitus Severity Index. Results suggest that group educational counseling can significantly benefit many tinnitus patients and could be integral to a "progressive intervention" approach to tinnitus clinical management.
Key words: auditory, clinical trial, educational counseling, hearing disorders, intervention, outcomes, rehabilitation, tinnitus, tinnitus retraining therapy, Tinnitus Severity Index.

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