The Impact of Cochlear Implantation on Tinnitus, Stress and Quality of Life in Postlingually Deafened PatientsOlze H.a · Szczepek A.J.b · Haupt H.b · Zirke N.b · Graebel S.a · Mazurek B.b
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin,aCampus Virchow Klinikum and bCampus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany
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Article / Publication Details
Tinnitus is a common complaint in the candidates for cochlear implantation (CI). Tinnitus-related distress has often been measured in these patients using categorical ratings, which lack information about tinnitus severity, stress and health-related quality of life or their correlation. Here, using 4 validated questionnaires, we evaluated psychometric parameters and the quality of life of 32 postlingually deafened patients before and after CI. The data regarding pre-CI were collected retrospectively. Of all patients included in this study, 28 (87.5%) suffered from tinnitus before implantation. Following a mean of 24 months after surgery, these patients reported a significant decrease (39.2%) of tinnitus impairment, as measured by the Tinnitus Questionnaire. In none of the 28 patients has tinnitus worsened. Moreover, the 4 tinnitus-free patients remained so after the CI surgery. In addition, the implant supply resulted in 36.7% reduction in perceived stress and in 15.4% reduction in evasive coping. In addition, the focus on positive coping has improved by 12.3%, whereas the health-related quality of life improved by 53.4% in all patients. Tinnitus impairment and stress were reduced more strongly in patients who had initially higher scores. Interestingly, a significant correlation between the psychometric scores was found mainly after CI. Our results indicate that patients with higher tinnitus-related distress have a lower quality of life, lesser coping abilities and perceive more stress, but before implantation it is masked by deafness. We conclude that tinnitus-related screening of patients before and after CI is an important step in the identification of individuals who would benefit from specific fitting and/or tinnitus therapy after implantation.
© 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel
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