Efficacy of an Online Mindfulness-Based Tinnitus Stress-Reduction Course During COVID (0.05 CEUs)

AAA 2021 Virtual: Efficacy of an Online Mindfulness-Based Tinnitus Stress-Reduction Course During COVID

Presented at AAA 2021 Virtual

Presenter(s): Corrie Holmes, AuD and Jenn Holst, AuD 

Duration: 30 minutes

CEUs: 0.05 AAA CEUs

Instructional Level: Fundamental

Program Focus: Knowledge

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion, each participant in the eAudiology Web Seminar will be able to:

  1. Describe MBTSR and its use in tinnitus management.
  2. Discuss the benefits and effectiveness of MBTSR in an online format.
  3. Identify those patients who could benefit from an online tinnitus treatment program.

Description:  

Abstract: Tinnitus is experienced by 50 million Americans and can be problematic or debilitating for many. Mindfulness Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction (MBTSR), has shown promise as an effective tool in managing tinnitus. The present study aims to assess the effectiveness of an online MBTSR course during a pandemic using the Tinnitus Functional Index and Perceived Stress Scale. Statistically significant differences (i.e., self-reported improvement) were found between all of the measures and sub-measures between the pre, mid, and post time points.

Summary:

Rationale: Tinnitus is the auditory perception of sound by an individual in absence of physical stimulation, and is experienced by nearly 15% of the population (Shargorodsky, Curhan, & Farwell, 2010) Tinnitus frequently results in chronic conditions that can create significant psychological distress. In fact, according to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), out of the 50 million Americans who experience tinnitus, 20 million report this chronic condition as troublesome while 2 million indicate that tinnitus is debilitating and significantly affects their daily life (ATA, 2018). There are various treatments available but no cure. A Mindfulness Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction (MBTSR) course has shown promise as an option for tinnitus treatment. A pilot study completed by Jennifer Gans (2013) suggested that MBTSR was a viable treatment for those who suffer from this debilitating condition. In the study, participants reported a reduction in tinnitus bother, depression, and phobic anxiety while improving social functioning and overall mental health. In light of those results, Gans developed an online version of MBTSR making it more accessible to individuals with tinnitus. 

Purpose: This study investigated the effectiveness of an online 8-week Mindfulness Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction (MBTSR) course during the COVID pandemic.

Design: A total of 665 participants voluntarily enrolled in the online 8 week MBTSR course between March 25, 2020 and June 1, 2020 during a time when many individuals were complying with stay at home orders. The course consisted of 8 weekly tinnitus lessons, guided meditation videos, audio-recordings, and automated emails, with elements of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, completed at a pace to suit the individual (minimum length 8 weeks). The Tinnitus Functional Index and Perceived Stress Scale were completed prior to beginning the course, mid-course, and upon course completion. 

 Results: To date, a total of 665 participants completed pre assessment measures, 56 completed the pre and mid assessment measures, and 45 completed the entire course including the pre, mid, and post assessment outcome measures. Using non-parametic Greenhouse-Geisser Repeated Measures Analysis of Variances (ANOVA) with Bonferroni adjustments for post-hoc analysis, consistent statistically significant differences (i.e., self-reported improvement) were found between all of the measures and sub-measures between the pre, mid, and post time points (p ≤ 0.003, for the omnibus test). 

Conclusions: Tinnitus intrusiveness and perceived stress significantly decreased at mid-course decreasing further at course completionThe online MBTSR course appears to be an effective intervention which reduces tinnitus intrusiveness, stress, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, while increasing quality of life and relaxation in a 2020 COVID pandemic cohort. However, there was no control comparison and future research is required to assess the effects of the course for different tinnitus samples post COVID. Also, follow-up data is needed to determine if the positive effects persist over time. Post assessment follow-up are planned at 6- and 12-month intervals.


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Corrie Holmes, AuD

Clinical Associate Professor, Idaho State University

Corrie Holmes is a Clinical Associate Professor at Idaho State University and currently serves as the Audiology Clinic Director. Her focus areas include cochlear implants, hearing conservation, tinnitus, humanitarian audiology, and canine audiology. Dr. Holmes received her Bachelors degree in 2007 from University of Nevada Reno and her Doctorate of Audiology from Idaho State University in 2011. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, hiking, and working on her hobby farm.

Disclosure: Financial Disclosures: I do not have any relevant financial relationships with anything to disclose.
Non-Financial Disclosures: I do not have any relevant non-financial relationships with anything to disclose.

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Jenn Holst, AuD

Clinical Professor, Idaho State University

Jenn Holst is a Clinical Professor at Idaho State University and currently serves as the Audiology Program Director. She specializes in pediatric diagnostics including early identification and auditory evoked potentials. Dr. Holst's interests also include tinnitus, humanitarian audiology, canine audiology, and mindfulness based practices. Dr. Holst received her Masters degree in 1999 from Idaho State University and her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in 2004. In her spare time, Dr. Holst enjoys reading, traveling, running, and outdoor activities.

Disclosure: Financial Disclosures: I do not have any relevant financial relationships with anything to disclose.
Non-Financial Disclosures: I do not have any relevant non-financial relationships with anything to disclose.

Key:

Complete
Failed
Available
Locked
Webinar
Recorded 06/18/2021
Recorded 06/18/2021
Evaluation
8 Questions
8 Questions Please complete the evaluation.
Assessment
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
Certificate
Live Viewing: 0.05 AAA CEUs credits and certificate available
Live Viewing: 0.05 AAA CEUs credits and certificate available CEU Certificate