Patient Acceptance of Invasive Treatments for Tinnitus Purpose The field of neuromodulation is currently seeking to treat a wide range of disorders with various types of invasive devices. In recent years, several preclinical trials and case reports in humans have been published on their potential for chronic tinnitus. However, studies to obtain insight into patients' willingness to ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   March 05, 2018
Patient Acceptance of Invasive Treatments for Tinnitus
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jasper V. Smit
    Department of Ear, Nose, and Throat/Head and Neck Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • Bart J. Pielkenrood
    Department of Ear, Nose, and Throat/Head and Neck Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • Remo A. G. J. Arts
    Department of Ear, Nose, and Throat/Head and Neck Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • Miranda L. Janssen
    Department of Methodology and Statistics, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • Yasin Temel
    Department of Neurosurgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • Robert J. Stokroos
    Department of Ear, Nose, and Throat/Head and Neck Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jasper Smit: jasper.smit@maastrichtuniversity.nl
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Editor: Owen Murnane
    Editor: Owen Murnane×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   March 05, 2018
Patient Acceptance of Invasive Treatments for Tinnitus
American Journal of Audiology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-17-0015
History: Received February 7, 2017 , Revised June 10, 2017 , Accepted September 28, 2017
 
American Journal of Audiology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-17-0015
History: Received February 7, 2017; Revised June 10, 2017; Accepted September 28, 2017

Purpose The field of neuromodulation is currently seeking to treat a wide range of disorders with various types of invasive devices. In recent years, several preclinical trials and case reports in humans have been published on their potential for chronic tinnitus. However, studies to obtain insight into patients' willingness to undergo these treatments are scarce. The aim of this survey study was to find out whether tinnitus patients are willing to undergo invasive neuromodulation when taking its risks, costs, and potential benefits into account.

Method A Visual Analog Scale (VAS, 0–10) was used to measure the outcome. Spearman's rank-order correlation coefficients were computed to determine the correlation between patient characteristics and acceptance rates.

Results Around one fifth of the patients were reasonably willing to undergo invasive treatment (VAS 5–7), and around one fifth were fully willing to do so (VAS 8–10). Hearing aids, used as a control, were accepted most, followed by cochlear implantation, deep brain stimulation, and cortical stimulation. Acceptance rates were slightly higher when the chance of cure was higher. Patients with a history of attempted treatments were more eager than others to find a new treatment for tinnitus.

Conclusions A considerable proportion of patients with tinnitus would accept a variety of invasive treatments despite the associated risks or costs. When clinical neuromodulatory studies for tinnitus are to be performed, particular attention should be given to obtaining informed consent, including explaining the potential risks and providing a realistic outcome expectation.

Acknowledgments
We thank Marcus Janssen and Gusta van Zwieten for helpful comments on the article.
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