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2022 Jun 15

Audiol Res



Impact of the COVID-19 Lockdown on Patients with Chronic Tinnitus-Preliminary Results.


Fioretti A, Natalini E, Triggianese G, Eibenstein R, Angelone A M, Lauriello M, Eibenstein A
Audiol Res. 2022 Jun 15; 12(3):327-336.
PMID: 35735367.


The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures are both causes of psychological distress. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the psychological effects of lockdown measures on patients with subjective chronic tinnitus diagnosed before the COVID-19 pandemic. A sample of = 77 patients with chronic tinnitus was contacted by mail/phone for a survey between June 2021 and September 2021. All patients filled out questionnaires on tinnitus distress (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, THI), anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory, BAI) and depression (Beck Depression Inventory, BDI) and eight items of the Tinnitus Sample Case History (TSCH) about tinnitus history (i.e., loudness, pitch, perception, tinnitus location), stress, and related conditions (noise annoyance, vertigo/dizziness, headache). Forty patients with chronic tinnitus filled out the survey. No significant differences of total THI mean scores ( > 0.05) were found compared to the results obtained before the COVID-19 pandemic and after lockdown. Regarding depression and anxiety, the female population showed a significant increase in scores obtained from the BDI ( < 0.0170) and the BAI ( < 0.049). Only two patients (0.5%) were infected by COVID-19 (positive RT-PCR), and they did not report any worsening of tinnitus. According to the data of the literature, our patients experienced a heterogeneous course of tinnitus, and the severity of tinnitus was not significantly affected by lifestyle changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.