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Measuring the Moment-to-Moment Variability of Tinnitus: The TrackYourTinnitus Smart Phone App

Schlee, Winfried and Pryss, Rüdiger and Probst, Thomas and Schobel, Johannes and Bachmeier, Alexander and Reichert, Manfred and Langguth, Berthold (2016) Measuring the Moment-to-Moment Variability of Tinnitus: The TrackYourTinnitus Smart Phone App. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8 . p. 294. ISSN 1663-4365

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Official URL: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnagi.2016.00294

Abstract

Tinnitus, the phantom perception of sound without a corresponding external sound, is a frequent disorder which causes significant morbidity. So far there is no treatment available that reliably reduces the tinnitus perception. The research is hampered by the large heterogeneity of tinnitus and the fact that the tinnitus perception fluctuates over time. It is therefore necessary to develop tools for measuring fluctuations of tinnitus perception over time and for analyzing data on single subject basis. However, this type of longitudinal measurement is difficult to perform using the traditional research methods such as paper-and-pencil questionnaires or clinical interviews. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) represents a research concept that allows the assessment of subjective measurements under real-life conditions using portable electronic devices and thereby enables the researcher to collect longitudinal data under real-life conditions and high cost efficiency. Here we present a new method for recording the longitudinal development of tinnitus perception using a modern smartphone application available for iOS and Android devices with no costs for the users. The TrackYourTinnitus (TYT) app is available and maintained since April 2014. A number of 857 volunteers with an average age of 44.1 years participated in the data collection between April 2014 and February 2016. The mean tinnitus distress at the initial measurement was rated on average 13.9 points on the Mini-Tinnitus Questionnaire (Mini-TQ; max. 24 points). Importantly, we could demonstrate that the regular use of the TYT app has no significant negative influence on the perception of the tinnitus loudness nor on the tinnitus distress. The TYT app can therefore be proposed as a safe instrument for the longitudinal assessment of tinnitus perception in the everyday life of the patient.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:DBIS Research > Publications
ID Code:1531
Deposited By: Ruediger Pryss
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Deposited On:28 Jul 2017 21:07
Last Modified:28 Jul 2017 21:07

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