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Papers of the Week

2019 Jan 09




The value of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing in the treatment of tinnitus: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.


Luyten T, Van de Heyning P, Jacquemin L, Van Looveren N, Declau F, Fransen E, Gilles A
Trials. 2019 Jan 09; 20(1):32.
PMID: 30626414.


Patients suffering from chronic, subjective tinnitus are on a quest to find a cure or any form of alleviation for their persistent complaint. Current recommended therapy forms provide psychotherapeutic interventions that are intended to train the patient how to deal with the tinnitus sound. Pharmaceutical managements are used to reduce secondary effects of the tinnitus sound such as sleep deprivation, emotional and concentration difficulties, but these treatments do not cure the tinnitus. Recent studies have shown that Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) significantly improves the quality of life for tinnitus patients. Furthermore, several studies have reported that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) relieves a substantial amount of distress by changing dysfunctional cognitions. However, when the tinnitus causes great interference with daily functioning, these treatment methods are not always sufficiently effective. Recent insights show that Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is a highly effective therapy for medically unexplained symptoms such as chronic pain and phantom pain. In scientific research, tinnitus is compared to phantom limb pain. Starting from tinnitus as a phantom percept we therefore aim to demonstrate that the operating mechanisms of EMDR may also be an effective treatment method for patients with subjective tinnitus. The aim of this randomized controlled study with blind evaluator is to examine the effect of EMDR compared to CBT in chronic tinnitus patients. To our knowledge, there are no other studies that evaluate both methods simultaneously.