Bring the Noise! Fear, assessment and treatment of tinnitus

Matheus Pereira Da Cruz Gomes Lourenco

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMixed; collaboration

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Tinnitus (i.e. ringing in the ear) can become a disability for some. For these individuals, fear of tinnitus appears to be at the heart of the condition. This work focused on better understanding the role fear plays. First, the study set out to create fear of neutral sounds based solely on their intensity (i.e. volume) – given that tinnitus is commonly reported after exposure to loud environments (e.g. bars, parties, festivals). No study has ever attempted to create such a paradigm with human participants before. Furthermore, the research explored innovative methodology delivered through an app (Ecological Momentary Assessment). The app increases the accuracy of symptom assessment by asking patients about their experiences through the day. Contrary to some common beliefs, constantly asking participants about their tinnitus did not worsen their condition. The last study compared group to individual therapy. Using an innovative design, focused on a handful of participants’ individual experiences, group therapy proved more beneficial.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • KU Leuven
  • Vlaeyen, Johannes, Supervisor
  • Cima, Rilana F.F., Supervisor, External person
Award date29 Oct 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464168389
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • tinnitus
  • fear
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) app
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

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