SAN FRANCISCO, California 27 January 2023 – MindfulTinnitusRelief.com® (i-MBTSR), the online version of the 8-week Mindfulness Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction (MBTSR) course, has published the results of a study assessing effectiveness of the program in decreasing tinnitus-related distress in this month’s edition of the American Journal of Audiology (AJA). The paper is titled: ‘Healing From Home: Examination of an Online Mindfulness-Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction Course During the 2020 COVID Pandemic’.
Tinnitus, often a chronic condition, is experienced by 15% of the population. For those with severe, bothersome tinnitus, quality of life is reduced and the treatment options are limited. We evaluated an approach intended to decrease tinnitus-related distress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Full Paper can be accessed here.
The study examined the data collected for 94 participants from around the world. Outcome measures included the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), which were measured at pretreatment, at 3-weeks (mid-treatment), immediately posttreatment, and at 6-month follow-up. The average tinnitus severity rating pre-course was 59.96 (“severe tinnitus”), dropping to 44.16 (“moderate”) at mid-treatment and to 34.23 (“mild-moderate”) at course completion (as measured by the Tinnitus Functional Index). 72% of participants experienced a clinically meaningful drop in tinnitus severity and no adverse consequences were reported. While 13 participants did not experience a clinically meaningful change, there was a trend in this direction with 7 out of the 13 participants showing as much as a 10-point reduction in tinnitus severity.
i-MBTSR is an 8-week self-paced course developed as a tinnitus-focused treatment option. The overriding goals of the program are to help participants feel less anxious about experiencing tinnitus, to provide accurate evidence-based tinnitus education, and to establish the beginning of a mindfulness meditation practice. Participants complete 8 weekly online lessons. Each lesson includes video and audio recordings, as well as written content covering topics related to tinnitus education, mindfulness practice, and gentle yoga, with professionally led meditation recordings and videos. By teaching awareness building meditation skills, the course encourages participants to experience tinnitus as part of their sensory landscape, thus helping shift the tinnitus sensation from bothersome to non-bothersome.
Dr. Jennifer J. Gans, Founding CEO of MindfulTinnitusRelief.com® commented: “We are delighted to announce the publication of such positive results from our i-MBTSR study. In just 3 weeks there was a statistically and clinically significant reduction in tinnitus bother. This change was maintained long after course completion. Bothersome tinnitus has been a real global problem with only variable management success. The course clearly helps people shift their experience of tinnitus from ‘bothersome’ to ‘non-bothersome’; this is an ‘effective cure’ to this often negative life-impacting symptom. We look forward to sharing this study with tinnitus patients, researchers, and clinicians to encourage healing, further study, and tinnitus management success around the world.”
Dr. Jenn Holst, AuD, a Clinical Professor at Idaho State University noted: “There are a variety of tinnitus treatments available and now there is evidence to support i-MBTSR as a viable option for individuals who may not otherwise have access. This is an important step towards treating tinnitus. Our research suggests that this program has a positive, lasting impact on the whole person and decreases tinnitus bother.”
Dr. Corrie Holmes, AuD, the Audiology Clinic Director at Idaho State University commented: "Numerous studies have documented the benefits of mindfulness and it is exciting to now add our study to that collection. The i-MBTSR course provided a clinically significant decrease in tinnitus severity for the majority of participants. As a clinical audiologist I strive to provide evidence based practice when recommending treatment options to patients and the i-MBTSR course has proven to be just that. Participants in the i-MBTSR course experienced positive outcomes that were shown to be long lasting. I look forward to continuing to share this treatment option with my patients and colleagues.”
Please send questions and queries to:
Dr. Jennifer Gans