Survey of tinnitus patients’ acceptance of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation as a management option

Tori Elyssa Kok, Rosemary Varley, Giriraj Singh Shekhawat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate acceptance of high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) as a management option for tinnitus. Design: Participants completed an online version of the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), after which they recorded their satisfaction ratings with different hypothetical intervention outcomes on a 10-point rating scale using Opinio survey software. Study sample: Data from 272 tinnitus sufferers from English-speaking regions worldwide were collected, of which the majority had moderate to severe tinnitus as per TFI. Results: The survey showed that HD-tDCS was considered an acceptable form of tinnitus management, and that the satisfaction rating depended significantly on a number of factors: (1) the strength of the tinnitus reduction following the intervention (p < 0.001); 2) the duration of the intervention (p < 0.001); and (3) the effects of the intervention on either tinnitus loudness or tinnitus-related distress (p < 0.001). Respondents rated their satisfaction with the intervention 10/10 only if it completely eliminated tinnitus loudness, although reductions of 50–80% were also rated highly acceptable. No association was found between tinnitus severity and acceptability ratings. Conclusions: These findings are important for future HD-tDCS trials for tinnitus, as they demonstrate the need to optimise stimulation protocols to increase effect sizes and decrease time spent on the treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Early online date13 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • HD-tDCS
  • non-invasive brain stimulation
  • survey
  • tDCS
  • Tinnitus

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