Analysis of Responses to Individual Items on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory According to Severity of Tinnitus Handicap Purpose: To investigate whether certain aspects of tinnitus tend to trouble people even when they are not severely affected by tinnitus in many ways.Method: A total of 274 patients who had requested a tinnitus clinic appointment were divided into 4 categories depending on their Tinnitus Handicap Inventory scores: ... Paper
Paper  |   December 2006
Analysis of Responses to Individual Items on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory According to Severity of Tinnitus Handicap
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lucy Handscomb
    St Mary’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom
  • Contact author: Lucy Handscomb, Audiology Department, St. Mary’s Hospital, Praed Street, London, W2 1NY, United Kingdom. E-mail: lucy.handscomb@st-marys.nhs.uk.
  • © 2006 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing Disorders
Paper   |   December 2006
Analysis of Responses to Individual Items on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory According to Severity of Tinnitus Handicap
American Journal of Audiology, December 2006, Vol. 15, 102-107. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2006/013)
History: Received December 16, 2005 , Accepted April 18, 2006
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2006, Vol. 15, 102-107. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2006/013)
History: Received December 16, 2005; Accepted April 18, 2006

Purpose: To investigate whether certain aspects of tinnitus tend to trouble people even when they are not severely affected by tinnitus in many ways.

Method: A total of 274 patients who had requested a tinnitus clinic appointment were divided into 4 categories depending on their Tinnitus Handicap Inventory scores: no handicap (0–16), mild handicap (18–36), moderate handicap (38–56), or severe handicap (58–100). Mean scores for each of the 25 items on the questionnaire were calculated and compared within each group and between the 4 groups.

Results: Two items concerning lack of control over tinnitus and inability to escape it had the highest mean score overall and in each category, and elicited positive responses from the majority of patients in all but the “no handicap” group. One item concerning the belief that tinnitus indicates a terrible disease was found to have the lowest mean score overall and in each category and elicited negative responses from the majority of patients in all but the “severe handicap” group.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that only those who are severely handicapped by tinnitus tend to regard it as a terrible disease, and that lack of control and inability to escape are common feelings among many people with tinnitus, from the most to the least severely handicapped.

Acknowledgments
The author would like to offer sincere thanks to Dr. Laurence McKenna, Dr. David Baguley, Dr. David Handscomb, and Mr. Nathan Williams for their patient support and invaluable advice.
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