Measuring Your Tinnitus Bother Using Smartphone Technology (Clinical Trial)

Discussion in 'Research News' started by Isabella 123, Jul 24, 2014.

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    1. Isabella 123

      Isabella 123 Member

      Arlington VA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Has anybody seen the recruitment info from ATA to participate in a study to find out how much your t bothers you? I'm curious what would be the useful purpose of using the funding they got to find this out???
    2. Mpt

      Mpt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      the ATA is a joke... just pitiful really
      • Agree Agree x 4
    3. Isabella 123

      Isabella 123 Member

      Arlington VA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Isn't there another t org that is more credible?
    4. xmierce

      xmierce Member

      Buford, Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      Received this as an ATA member today in my email..

      The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) would like to inform you of a clinical research study being conducted by Jay Piccirillo, MD at the Washington University in St. Louis. This study can be completed remotely through a smartphone and is open to tinnitus patients around the United States.
      Dr. Piccirillo is conducting a research study to test a new way of measuring your tinnitus bother using smartphone technology.
      No travel to Washington University is required. The entire study will be completed on your smartphone and computer. No payment for your participation is provided.
      You might qualify to participate if you:
      1. Are between the ages of 21 and 80 years old
      2. Have tinnitus (for at least 6 months)
      3. Are bothered by your tinnitus
      4. Have a smartphone with internet access
      The study consists of:
      • A Pre-screening Survey – to see if you may qualify (about 5 minutes)
      • A Baseline Survey asking about your tinnitus.
      • 4 short surveys (less than 3 minutes for each survey) per day for two weeks
      • One short survey (about 5 minutes) at the end of the EMA survey and again two weeks later
      • 4 short surveys (less than 3 minutes) per day for two more weeks.
      • Final survey (about 5 minutes)
      To see if you qualify for this study, visit or call Joyce at (314) 362-7508
      Please Note: The American Tinnitus Association is promoting this clinical trial for informational purposes only. ATA is neither a sponsor nor an organizer of the trial, which is wholly coordinated by Washington University in St. Louis.
      • Like Like x 1
    5. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      @xmierce Thank you!:) The study is method to measure tinnitus severity at various times of the day and during various activities for people with tinnitus.

      This study is also listed on the clinical trial site:

      Here is the description:

      The purpose of this research study is to test a new way of measuring the severity of tinnitus using a tool called Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) of Tinnitus. We will compare the relationship with this tool with another widely used questionnaire. Previous studies we have done suggest there are different patterns of tinnitus bother; we plan to explore how often these patterns occur, and how many patterns of tinnitus bother there are. And lastly we want to test how reliable this type of testing is for measuring the amount of bother people experience from their tinnitus.

      Hypothesis 1: We will be able to identify 6 or more distinctive patterns of tinnitus.

      Hypothesis 2: EMA will provide a reliable method for more accurately capturing the amount of bother individuals have from tinnitus.​

      The concept is quite interesting. Here is more detail from a 2012 pilot study:

      Pilot study to evaluate ecological momentary assessment of tinnitus
      James A. Henry, Ph.D.,1,2 Gino Galvez, Ph.D.,1 Mitchel B. Turbin, Ph.D.,1 Emily J. Thielman, M.S.,1 Garnett P. McMillan, Ph.D.,1 and Joseph A. Istvan, Ph.D.1

      Because audiometric evaluation, symptom histories, questionnaires, and similar standard assessment tools may not adequately sample the effects of chronic tinnitus on day-to-day activities, there is a need for alternative methodological approaches to study the impact of tinnitus on day-to-day life. An innovative methodological approach that has shown great promise in the study of chronic health problems characterized by reported temporal and/or situational variability in symptoms and distress is known as ecological momentary assessment (EMA). EMA involves the real time measurement of states, situational factors, and symptoms by individuals as they go about their day-to-day activities. The objective of this pilot investigation was to explore the feasibility of using EMA methods to examine within- and between-day effects of tinnitus.

      This study was conducted in three phases: (1) design and development of an EMA methodology that could be used to assess effects of tinnitus; (2) refinement of the methodology through the use of two focus groups; and (3) field-test the methodology with individuals who experienced bothersome tinnitus. For Phase 3, each of the 24 participants wore, throughout their waking hours for two weeks, a personal digital assistant that produced alerts four times a day. The alerts prompted participants to respond to 19 questions, including nine relating to situational and mood factors, and 10 comprising the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory - Screening version (THI-S). To evaluate for potential reactive effects of performing the EMA protocol, each participant completed the paper-and-pencil version of the full 25-item THI before and after the 2-week EMA period.

      Participants responded to the alerts with a 90% compliance rate, providing a total of 1210 completed surveys. At the time of their response, participants indicated they were in their house or apartment (67.7%), alone (50.2%), happy (50%), and calm (54.5%). Across most responses, participants could hear their tinnitus (97%), and the loudness of their tinnitus averaged 4.7 on a 7-point increasing-loudness scale. The mean THI-S index score (out of a possible maximum 40 points for greatest tinnitus severity) was 17.0 (moderate self-perceived tinnitus handicap). Repeated THI-S index scores varied considerably both within and between participants. Mean 25-item THI scores were not significantly different before and after the EMA period, suggesting little reactivity of the EMA.

      The high compliance rate, positive feedback from participants, lack of reactivity as a result of performing the EMA protocol, and data collected indicate that EMA methodology is feasible with patients who have tinnitus. Outcome data obtained with this methodology cannot be obtained any other way because retrospective questionnaires cannot capture the day-to-day reactions. This methodology has the potential to provide more in-depth and accurate assessments of patients receiving therapy for tinnitus.​


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