Our aim in this randomized controlled trial was to investigate the effects on global tinnitus severity of 2 Internet-delivered psychological treatments, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), in guided self-help format.
Ninety-nine participants (mean age 48.5 years; 43% female) who were significantly distressed by tinnitus were recruited from the community. Participants were randomly assigned to CBT (n 32), ACT (n 35), or a control condition (monitored Internet discussion forum; n 32), and they were assessed with standardized self-report measures (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; Quality of Life Inventory; Perceived Stress Scale; Tinnitus Acceptance Questionnaire) at pre-, posttreatment (8 weeks), and 1-year follow-up.
Mixed-effects linear regression analysis of all randomized participants showed significant effects on the primary outcome (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory) for CBT and for ACT compared with control at posttreatment (95% CI [17.03, 2.94], d 0.70, and 95% CI [16.29, 2.53], d 0.68, respectively). Within-group effects were substantial from pretreatment through 1-year-follow-up for both treatments (95% CI [44.65, 20.45], d 1.34), with no significant difference between treatments (95% CI [14.87, 11.21], d 0.16).
Acceptance-based procedures may be a viable alternative to traditional CBT techniques in the management of tinnitus. The Internet can improve access to psychological interventions for tinnitus.
2012. Vol. 80, no 4, 649-661 p.
tinnitus, cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, acceptance, randomized controlled trial