Ground-breaking study asks people with tinnitus which treatments are working for them

A Nottingham research team is asking people with tinnitus, as well as the professionals who care for them, whether their treatment is working and what measures would show their effectiveness.

The COMIT’ID study had the aim of finding out from people with tinnitus, healthcare practitioners involved in hearing and other hearing researchers, which types of tinnitus complaints should be measured to assess whether a treatment is working.

Tinnitus is a hearing problem that affects around one in 10 adults and can be very distressing. It is described as any sound a person hears from one ear, both ears or in the head that is not from an outside source.

Treatments are limited and costly to the health services so the researchers are working to improve knowledge and standards in tinnitus research across the UK and Europe.
Chief Investigator Professor Deborah Hall, and Theme Lead for hearing, at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre said: “This study is ground-breaking because it involves people with tinnitus working together with professionals to set standards for future clinical research. It’s about putting the patient voice at the heart of developing better treatments for tinnitus.”

Taking part in the COMIT’ID study involved completing a three-round online survey, over a period of four months, followed by an optional face-to-face meeting with a selection of other participants. Tinnitus is one of the hearing conditions being investigated by researchers at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Tinnitus study will help shape future research

The aim of the COMIT’ID study is not to develop a new treatment, nor test an existing one but findings will help develop important guidance that will improve future research. This will mean that faster progress can be made in developing better treatments.

Steve Harrison, director of TinnitusHub, the world’s largest tinnitus patient community said: “When the guidance is launched we will have the first way of holding treatments to account, and understanding how they perform against each other.  We will be able to dig into claims of success and understand just how much any particular treatment approach can help us, by measures that we helped to choose.”

The study has been designed with tinnitus patients. It is supported with funding from the British Tinnitus Association and Action on Hearing Loss charities.

There is much more information about the COMIT’IT study online

“It’s about putting the patient voice at the heart of developing better treatments for tinnitus.”