Study reveals online CBT is as effective as face-to-face therapy in tackling tinnitus distress



The outcomes of a recent UK study suggest that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered online could be as effective in reducing tinnitus effects as face-to-face treatment with a specialist - and faster.

Researchers led by Eldré W. Beukes, of the department of vision and hearing sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, carried out their study with a dual purpose: to compare the results on tinnitus distress of internet-served CBT against individualised face-to-face therapy; and to compare the time each therapy medium takes to achieve effective results.

Ninety-two patients were given either 8 weeks of guided web-based CBT or either two or three individualised face-to-face sessions with a tinnitus specialist.

According to the Tinnitus Functional Index scores obtained, the between-group difference following therapy showed that web-based CBT was not inferior to the individualised intervention, while "those undertaking the internet intervention had a significantly greater weekly reduction in tinnitus distress indicating that they started improving faster than the face-to-face group," Beukes told the online family medicine portal, Healio.

While Beukes underlined the time-effectiveness of internet-delivered CBT to the professional, US expert Dr. Thomas L. Rodebaugh, of the department of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, referenced the findings in emphasising the positives still to be explored in web-based tinnitus therapy.

"Determining what psychotherapy treatments work for whom will be an essential part of a personalized medicine approach moving forward,” said Rodebaugh.

Source: Healio