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June 04, 2012

Internet-based therapy can help tinnitus sufferers

Cognitive therapy can be just as effective on the internet as in group sessions, a study shows. People with tinnitus could benefit from Internet-based therapy.

Internet-based therapy can help tinnitus sufferers

Researchers from the German Johannes Gutenberg University and the Swedish Linköping University have tested people with moderate to severe tinnitus as they underwent various forms of therapy over a ten-week period. The results of this study established that internet-based therapy was just as effective as group therapy sessions.

Compared to the control group, which only participated in an online discussion forum, people who received internet-based therapy or participated in group therapy proved better at managing the symptoms of the irritating ringing in their ears which comes with tinnitus.

Researchers from the two universities found that tinnitus distress was reduced on average from moderate to mild in participants who followed the group therapy sessions. In tinnitus sufferers who completed the internet-based therapy program, the results were more or less the same.

“Our internet-based therapy concept was very effective when it came to the reduction of tinnitus-related distress or, to put in another way, at increasing the tolerance levels of subjects with regard to their tinnitus,” says Dr. Maria Kleinsträuber from the Johannes Gutenberg University.


By measuring the participants, judged on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory point-scale, the researchers found that distress was reduced from 40 points (moderate) to 29 points (mild) once tinnitus sufferers had undergone the internet-based therapy. For those who participated in group session therapy, the reduction observed was from 44 points to 29 points. In comparison, the control group only reduced their distress levels from 40 point to 37 points.

Other studies show that the symptoms of tinnitus can be successfully managed by means of cognitive therapy, and so the internet-based therapy offers a program that encourages tinnitus sufferers to adopt individual an active strategies to combat their tinnitus.


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