Introduction- Tinnitus is a type of chronic hearing disorderoften described as ringing in the ears. With the global pandemic in 2020, a shift was observed to telemedicine. Cost-effectiveness aside, Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT) has gained popularity as a convenient and accessible alternative to face-to-face treatments. However, its usage has yet to gain traction in Indonesia.
Objectives- To determine the effectiveness of ICBT and its possibility to be used as a feasible audiologist-guided intervention tool. This study is targeted at existing tinnitus patients who have yet to receive any form of intervention previously.
Method- Thirty-six patients were chosen from the existing pool of patients diagnosed with tinnitus by Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) practitioners. Their baseline tinnitus perception and QOL measures were determined using the Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire (TRQ), the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), and the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). These patients were subjected to ICBT. A post-intervention measurement was taken at the 3-months and 6-months mark respectively.
This Randomized Control Trial (RCT) seeks to determine the effectiveness of ICBT in improving the overall QOL of patients and to find out how effective ICBT is in alleviating tinnitus-associated distresses.
Results & Conclusion- The effectiveness of ICBT was established in this study in alleviating tinnitus-related distress in patients and contributing to overall improvement of patient QOL and other negative tinnitus-related effects. The results were consistent throughout the 6 months of this study. Results suggest that patients experienced greater relief from tinnitus-linked comorbidities and better QOL improvement vis-à-vis the baseline results.