Differences in characteristics between people with tinnitus that seek help and that do not

M.M. Rademaker*, I. Stegeman, A.E.M. Brabers, J.D. de Jong, R.J. Stokroos, A.L. Smit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Knowledge on characteristics of people that seek help for tinnitus is scarce. The primary objective of this study was to describe differences in characteristics between people with tinnitus that seek help compared to those who do not seek help. Next, we described differences in characteristics between those with and without tinnitus. In this cross-sectional study, we sent a questionnaire on characteristics in different domains; demographic, tinnitus-specific, general- and psychological health, auditory and noise- and substance behaviour. We assessed if participants had sought help or planned to seek help for tinnitus. Tinnitus distress was defined with the Tinnitus Functional Index. Differences between groups (help seeking: yes/no, tinnitus: yes/no) were described. 932 people took part in our survey. Two hundred and sixteen participants were defined as having tinnitus (23.2%). Seventy-three of those sought or planned to seek help. A constant tinnitus pattern, a varying tinnitus loudness, and hearing loss, were described more frequently in help seekers. Help seekers reported higher TFI scores. Differences between help seekers and people not seeking help were mainly identified in tinnitus- and audiological characteristics. These outcomes might function as a foundation to explore the heterogeneity in tinnitus patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22949
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021



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