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Understanding user reactions and interactions with an Internet-based intervention for tinnitus self-management: Mixed-methods evaluation

Greenwell, Kate; Sereda, Magdelena; Coulson, Neil S.; Hoare, Derek J.

Authors

Kate Greenwell

Magdelena Sereda

Neil S. Coulson

Derek J. Hoare



Abstract

Purpose: Internet-based interventions have the potential to reduce the disparity in access to psychological therapy that people with tinnitus currently experience. One example is the Tinnitus E-Programme, which although freely available online, has not yet been formally evaluated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate past, current, and new users’ reactions and interactions with the Tinnitus E-Programme.

Method: Study 1 used an online survey to gather past and current users’ reactions to, and interactions with, the intervention (n=27). Study 2 used interviews and a relaxation log to assess how new users implemented the skills they learned into their everyday lives (n=13).

Results: Generally, users expressed positive views of the intervention content and design features. Users particularly valued the education about tinnitus and its management, and relaxation skills training, and use of these components was high. In contrast, user reactions to self-monitoring tools, an online support forum, and therapist support were mixed, and use was lower. Implementation was limited by instances of poor usability and accessibility, user engagement, and adherence to relaxation goals. Users’ perceptions of the interventions credibility and relevance, and beliefs regarding a negative impact on their tinnitus influenced engagement. Users in both studies identified several benefits gained, including functional and emotional management; self-efficacy for managing and coping with tinnitus; understanding tinnitus and its management; social support; and acceptance of tinnitus.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that the intervention was acceptable to its target group but also highlighted some areas for improvement. These findings will be used to inform further optimization work.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 13, 2019
Print ISSN 1059-0889
Electronic ISSN 1558-9137
Publisher American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 3
Pages 697-713
APA6 Citation Greenwell, K., Sereda, M., Coulson, N. S., & Hoare, D. J. (2019). Understanding user reactions and interactions with an Internet-based intervention for tinnitus self-management: Mixed-methods evaluation. American Journal of Audiology, 28(3), 697-713. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_AJA-18-0171
DOI https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_AJA-18-0171
Keywords Tinnitus; Internet interventions; Acceptability; Self-help; Mixed methods.
Publisher URL https://pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/2019_AJA-18-0171

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