Support Matters: How Are Tinnitus and Social Support Interlinked?

Discussion in 'Research News' started by Tinnitus Talk, Aug 10, 2018.

    1. Tinnitus Talk

      Tinnitus Talk Knowledge Base

      We are pleased to announce the publication of our article in the summer 2018 edition of American Tinnitus Association's Tinnitus Today magazine. The article is based on the results of the Significant Other survey we conducted in February 2018.

      Below you will find the article as well as the full survey results.

      Statistical analysis on the survey data, as featured in the article, was conducted by @kelpiemsp and his wife.

      If you have any questions - for instance, if you want to know how a certain group or a certain question compares against another - just comment and we'll attempt to get you an answer.

      These survey results will also form the basis of a talk that we'll be delivering during the upcoming Talking Tinnitus Expo, organised by the British Tinnitus Association.

      Furthermore, based on these results, follow-up activities will be conducted leading up to Tinnitus Week 2019, the theme of which will be "social isolation."



      (Full survey data is available here.)​

      Attached Files:

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    2. Hazel

      Hazel Director Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      the Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      one-sided hearing loss (of unknown origin)
      With special thanks from me, @Markku and @Steve to @kelpiemsp for his help; his and his wife's stats skills were invaluable!
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    3. Autumnly

      Autumnly Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      July/August 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Tinnitus groups: A model of social support and social connectedness from peer interaction
      Helen Pryce, Tiago Moutela, Colette Bunker, Rachel Shaw
      First published: 26 August 2019

      About the study:
      Tinnitus is a chronic condition for which there is no medical treatment. Tinnitus groups are a widely available resource for people with tinnitus.

      Our objectives were to explore the active ingredients of tinnitus support groups in terms of their mechanisms for providing support, the contextual factors that elicit such mechanisms, and the outcomes in terms of coping enhancement.

      We adopted a pluralist and iterative approach informed by the realist evaluation method.

      We conducted ethnographic data generation at tinnitus support groups involving observations (n = 160), focus groups (n = 130), and individual interviews (n = 20). Inductive analyses were conducted following the constant comparison method of grounded theory. We then interrogated the inductive themes to identify evidence of Contexts, Mechanisms, and Outcomes. We then produced a model which was tested in a survey of tinnitus group members (n = 65) in effect providing large‐scale respondent validation of the data‐driven model created through our inductive analysis.

      We identified that tinnitus groups can facilitate social connectedness between group members. This experience appeared to build resilience among those experiencing tinnitus‐related distress. Groups also played a role in building a sense of control related to knowledge and information sharing. Additionally, we identified risks associated with not accessing social support in a group environment.

      Our findings contribute to the growing understanding of the power of social connectedness as building shared social identity when living with tinnitus.

      Statement of contribution
      What does this study add?

      • This study describes the mechanisms by which tinnitus support groups can support coping in tinnitus.
      • This is the first study to comprehensively explore the views of those who attend tinnitus groups.
      • The study identifies the key features of support groups that facilitate social connectedness among group members.
      • The most valued features of groups are the knowledge and information provided, the sense of belonging communicated to group members, and the creation and maintenance of a sense of hope towards the tinnitus.
      • This study contributes new insights to both the tinnitus field and adds to the literature on support groups in health.
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