INTRODUCTION: Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a method capable of assessing tinnitus experience throughout the day, enabling the exploration of daily dynamic changes of tinnitus expression. However, the effects on patients' tinnitus experience itself are still largely unknown. This study seeks to test the hypothesis that the use of EMA negatively influences tinnitus experience in participants with severe tinnitus.
METHOD: A multiple-baseline single-case experimental design included four severely affected tinnitus volunteers who were recruited online and randomized into different phasing schedules. Baseline phase (A) ranged from 11 to 24 days, followed by an EMA phase (B) for the remainder of the 33-day schedule. End-of-day diary assessments of tinnitus experience (e.g., annoyance, intrusiveness, mood) were visually inspected, and complemented with inferential statistics (randomization tests and Tau-U).
RESULTS: End-of-day diary data revealed no change in broadened median between phases. Nevertheless, tinnitus experience scores improved as variability decreased and a significant improvement in stress was observed through weighted Tau-U statistics.
CONCLUSION: Findings of this study corroborate that EMA assessment does not negatively affect tinnitus experience. On the contrary, participants may have improved. The underlying mechanism of improvements are still to be uncovered. Findings are limited to severely affected tinnitus sufferers at present.
|Title of host publication||Tinnitus - An Interdisciplinary Approach Towards Individualized Treatment: Results from the European Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research|
|Editors||Winfried Schlee, Berthold Langguth, Tobias Kleinjung, Sven Vanneste, Dirk De Ridder|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
|Series||Progress in Brain Research|