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Research Article Open Access
Background: Tinnitus is a distressing ailment with limited options for therapy and affecting the quality of life of sufferers. This study aims to investigate the impact of tinnitus on the health related quality of life, the psychological and emotional wellbeing of patients in our environment.
Patients and Methods: Consecutive patients with tinnitus presenting to the Otorhinolaryngology outpatient clinic of the Jos University Teaching Hospital and The Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, Jos were assessed and administered the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the RAND-36 item health survey 1.0 questionnaires.
Results: We studied 49 patients, age range 22- 79 years (mean = 36.8; median = 35.5; SD = ± 12.7) consisting of 22 (44.9%) males and 27 (55.1%) females, male to female ratio of 1:1.2. Patients in the age range 31 to 40 were in the majority (n = 20; 40.4%). Depressive symptoms were recorded in 14 (28.6%) female patients and 11 (22.4%) male patients. Anxiety symptoms were recorded in 18 (36.7%) female patients and 16 (32.6%) male patients. 34 (69.4%) of our patients scored low on all QoL domains except pain levels irrespective of age or gender with statistically significant positive correlations between all the QoL domains studied for all patients (P-value 0.5). Univariate analysis shows statistically significant inverse correlation between emotional distress (anxiety and depression) scores and each of emotional wellbeing scores.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates high prevalence of tinnitus amongst the younger population in our region especially females with significant reduction in their HRQoL. This should help in raising the awareness of the impact of tinnitus on the QoL, psychological and emotional wellbeing of patients in our region with a view to improving outcome for tinnitus sufferers. We recommend a further study on a larger sample population to determine the socioeconomic impact of tinnitus on the Nigerian population.
anxiety, depression, quality of life, questionnaires.