Catastrophizing and Fear of Tinnitus Predict Quality of Life in Patients With Chronic Tinnitus

Rilana F. F Cima, Geert Crombez, Johan W. S. Vlaeyen
2011 Ear and Hearing  
5 Objectives: It is well established that catastrophic mis-interpretations and fear are involved in 6 the suffering and disability of patients with chronic pain. This study investigated whether 7 similar processes explain suffering and disability in patients with chronic tinnitus. We 8 hypothesized that patients who catastrophically (mis)interpret their tinnitus would be more 9 fearful of tinnitus, more vigilant towards their tinnitus, and report less quality of life. 10 Moreover,
more » ... ed fear was expected to act as a mediator in reduced quality of life. 11 Design: Sixty-one tinnitus patients from an outpatient ENT department of the university 12 hospital of Antwerp (Belgium) completed a number of questionnaires about their tinnitus. 13 Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to test hypothesized associations and to 14 assess mediation by tinnitus-related fear. Results: Analyses revealed significant associations 15 between catastrophizing and fear, and between catastrophizing and increased attention 16 towards the tinnitus. Furthermore, both tinnitus-related catastrophizing and fear predicted 17 decreased quality of life and moreover, tinnitus-related fear fully mediated the association 18 between catastrophizing about the tinnitus and quality of life. Conclusions: The findings 19 confirm earlier suggestions that tinnitus-related concerns and fears are associated with 20 impaired quality of life, which is in line with a cognitive behavioural account of chronic 21 tinnitus. Future research avenues and clinical applications are discussed. 22 Keywords: Catastrophizing; Cognitive-behavioural; Quality of life; Tinnitus; Tinnitus-related 23 fear 24 42 Severe emotional distress, major declines in concentration, problems in directing 43 attention and sleeping difficulties are the most reported daily activity limitations caused by 44 tinnitus. Most significant in predicting the variability in quality of life of tinnitus patients is 45 psychological distress, including negative attitudes and cognitions, impaired concentration, 46 insomnia, depression, and anxiety (Erlandsson & Hallberg, 2000). Accumulating evidence 47 suggests that cognitive misinterpretations, negative emotional reactivity and attentional 48 processes are crucial in dysfunctional habituation leading to severe tinnitus distress 49 3
doi:10.1097/aud.0b013e31821106dd pmid:21399500 fatcat:adezaktb55ho3ibexcqzwcwjzi