Factors related to tinnitus and hyperacusis handicap in older people.

29 Nov 2017

OBJECTIVE: The aim was to assess factors related to tinnitus and hyperacusis handicap in older people. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional. STUDY SAMPLE: Data were gathered for 184 patients with an average age of 69 years. RESULTS: Tinnitus handicap as measured via the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) was significantly predicted by tinnitus annoyance as measured via the visual analogue scale (VAS) (regression coefficient, b = 2.9, p < 0.001) and the effect of tinnitus on the patient's life as measured via the VAS (b = 3.9, p < 0.001). Hyperacusis handicap as measured via the Hyperacusis Questionnaire (HQ) was significantly predicted by the score on the depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) (b = 0.8, p < 0.001) and to a small extent by the THI score (b = 0.07, p = 0.048). Insomnia scores as measured via the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) were significantly predicted by scores on the depression subscale of the HADS (b = 0.46, p = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: Since tinnitus annoyance significantly predicts tinnitus handicap, it is important to explore factors associated with annoyance that may be useful in designing appropriate rehabilitative interventions aimed at reducing tinnitus handicap in older people. Future studies should explore whether hyperacusis and insomnia in older people with tinnitus need to be managed in conjunction with treatment for depression.