Author(s): Hutter E, Grapp M, Argstatter H, Bolay HV
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Abstract BACKGROUND: In general, tinnitus pitch has been observed to be variable across time for most patients experiencing tinnitus. Some tinnitus therapies relate to the dominant tinnitus pitch in order to adjust therapeutic interventions. As studies focusing on tinnitus pitch rarely conduct consecutive pitch matching in therapeutic settings, little is known about the course and variability of tinnitus pitch during therapeutic interventions. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the variability and development of tinnitus pitch in the course of therapeutic interventions. Tinnitus pitch was suspected to be highly variable. RESEARCH DESIGN: The researchers conducted a descriptive, retrospective analysis of data. STUDY SAMPLE: A total of 175 adult patients experiencing chronic tinnitus served as participants. All patients had received a neuro-music therapy according to the "Heidelberg Model of Music Therapy for Chronic Tinnitus." DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: During therapeutic interventions lasting for 5 consecutive days, the individual tinnitus frequency was assessed daily by means of a tinnitus pitch-matching procedure. The extent of variability in tinnitus pitch was calculated by mean ratios of frequencies between subsequent tinnitus measurements. Analysis of variance of repeated measures and post hoc paired samples t-tests were used for comparison of means in tinnitus frequencies, and the test-retest reliability of measurements was obtained by the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. RESULTS: Tinnitus pitch displayed a variability of approximately 3/5 to 4/5 octaves per day. Overall, the mean frequency declined in the course of the therapy. Detailed analysis revealed three groups of patients with diverging tinnitus progression. The test-retest reliability between assessments turned out to be robust (r = 0.74 or higher). CONCLUSIONS: Considerable variation in tinnitus pitch was found. Consequently, a frequent rechecking of tinnitus frequency is suggested during frequency-specific acoustic stimulation in order to train appropriate frequency bands. American Academy of Audiology.
This article was published in J Am Acad Audiol
and referenced in Journal of Biomusical Engineering