Cognitive behavioural therapy for tinnitus improves quality of life

Clinical question: 
Should I consider cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a treatment for individuals with tinnitus?
Bottom line: 
CBT produces a significant improvement in the quality of life (decrease of global tinnitus severity) of participants compared with waiting list controls and an educational intervention, and is not associated with any adverse effects.
Caveat: 
CBT does not improve the subjective loudness of tinnitus or the symptoms of clinical depression, if present.
Context: 
Tinnitus affects 6–17 per cent of the population, with 0.5–2 per cent having tinnitus that produces sufficient annoyance to interfere with normal daily life.1 At present there is no specific therapy for tinnitus which benefits all individuals. (1. Searchfield GD. NZ Fam Phys 2003;30:345–349)
Review CD#: 
CD005233
PEARLS No: 
5
Date: 
July, 2007
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy
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