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Henry JA, Thielman EJ, Zaugg TL, Kaelin C, Schmidt CJ, Griest S, McMillan GP, Myers P, Rivera I, Baldwin R, Carlson K. Randomized Controlled Trial in Clinical Settings to Evaluate Effectiveness of Coping Skills Education Used With Progressive Tinnitus Management. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research : Jslhr. 2017 May 24; 60(5):1378-1397.
Purpose: This randomized controlled trial evaluated, within clinical settings, the effectiveness of coping skills education that is provided with progressive tinnitus management (PTM). Method: At 2 Veterans Affairs medical centers, N = 300 veterans were randomized to either PTM intervention or 6-month wait-list control. The PTM intervention involved 5 group workshops: 2 led by an audiologist (teaching how to use sound as therapy) and 3 by a psychologist (teaching coping skills derived from cognitive behavioral therapy). It was hypothesized that PTM would be more effective than wait-list control in reducing functional effects of tinnitus and that there would be no differences in effectiveness between sites. Results: At both sites, a statistically significant improvement in mean Tinnitus Functional Index scores was seen at 6 months for the PTM group. Combined data across sites revealed a statistically significant improvement in Tinnitus Functional Index relative to wait-list control. The effect size for PTM using the Tinnitus Functional Index was 0.36 (small). Conclusions: Results suggest that PTM is effective at reducing tinnitus-related functional distress in clinical settings. Although effect sizes were small, they provide evidence of clinical effectiveness of PTM in the absence of stringent research-related inclusion criteria and with a relatively small number of sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy.