New AHRQ Review Evaluates Tinnitus Treatment Options
A new AHRQ research review finds that, among pharmacological/food supplements, medical/surgical treatments, sound treatments/technologies, and psychological/behavioral treatments for tinnitus (ringing in the ears), there is low strength of evidence indicating that cognitive behavioral therapy interventions improve tinnitus-specific quality of life compared with inactive controls. According to the review, sertraline is the one pharmacological intervention with consistently significant effects on multiple outcomes in a clinical trial (e.g., reducing loudness, improving global quality of life, and alleviating severity). For pharmacological interventions overall, the strength of evidence is low that neurotransmitter drugs improve subjective loudness compared with placebo in tinnitus patients. The strength of evidence is insufficient for all other pharmacological interventions and outcomes, such as sleep disturbance, tinnitus-specific quality of life, and anxiety. There is not enough evidence to suggest that medical or sound technology interventions improve outcomes relative to inactive controls. Additional research is needed to investigate measures used to assess patients for management needs and the identification of prognostic factors. Select to access the research review, titled Evaluation and Treatment of Tinnitus: Comparative Effectiveness Review.