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Positive experiences related to living with tinnitus: a cross-sectional survey

Beukes, Eldre W.; Manchaiah, Vinaya; Valien, T.E.; Baguley, David M.; Allen, Peter M.; Andersson, Gerhard


Eldre W. Beukes

Vinaya Manchaiah

T.E. Valien

Peter M. Allen

Gerhard Andersson


Objective: The aim of this study was to gain insights related to positive experiences reported by adults with tinnitus living in the United Kingdom.
Design: A cross-sectional survey design was used in a sample of adults with tinnitus who were interested in undertaking an Internet-based intervention for tinnitus.
Setting: The study was UK wide and data collection was online.
Participants: Participants consisted of 240 adults (137 males, 103 females), with an average age of 48.16 years and average tinnitus duration of 11.52 years (SD: 11.88).
Main outcome measures: Tinnitus severity was measured by means of the Tinnitus Functional Index. To evaluate the secondary effects of tinnitus, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Hearing Handicap Inventory for Adults-Screening Version and the Cognitive Failures Questionnaires were administered. Positive experiences related to tinnitus were explored using an open-ended question format.
Results: Around a third of participants (32.5%) reported positive experiences associated with tinnitus. The number of positive responses ranged from one to eight responses per participant, although there were fewer participants with more than one positive response. The predominant themes concerned for (i) coping; (ii) personal development; (iii) support, and to a lesser extent (iv) outlook. Younger participants, those with a lower hearing disability and those with fewer cognitive failures were more likely to report positive experiences associated with having tinnitus.
Conclusions: This study has identified that personal development and a positive outlook are possible despite experiencing tinnitus. Ways to facilitate positive experiences related to tinnitus should be promoted, as these may reduce the negative consequences associated with tinnitus. The most prevalent positive theme was the ability to cope with tinnitus. Positive experiences were also drawn from having clinical and other support networks. This highlights the importance of providing tinnitus interventions that can assist people in coping with tinnitus, particularly to those less likely to relate tinnitus to any positive experiences. Those most likely to be helped include those who are older with greater cognitive difficulties and a greater hearing disability.


Beukes, E. W., Baguley, D. M., Allen, P. M., Manchaiah, V., & Andersson, G. (2018). Positive experiences related to living with tinnitus: a cross-sectional survey. Clinical Otolaryngology, 43(2), (489-495). doi:10.1111/coa.13002. ISSN 1749-4478

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 29, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 19, 2017
Publication Date 2018-04
Deposit Date Nov 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 20, 2018
Journal Clinical Otolaryngology
Print ISSN 1749-4478
Electronic ISSN 1749-4486
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 2
Pages 489-495
Keywords Service development, Tinnitus management, Clinical intervention, Tinnitus distress, Non-inferiority trial,Tinnitus treatment, Internet intervention, Cognitive behavioural therapy, Guided intervention
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Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Beukes EW, Manchaiah V, Valien TE, Baguley DM, Allen PM, Andersson G. Positive experiences related to living with tinnitus: A cross-sectional survey. Clin Otolaryngol. 2017;00:1–7. which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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