The Short and Long-Term Effect of Sound Therapy on Visual Attention in Chronic Tinnitus Patients

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Technical University of Denmark
Communication Acoustics: Spatial Sound and Psychoacoustics
WS Audiology
Degree programme
Audiology research, Volume 12, issue 5
Sound therapy is one of the most common tinnitus treatments that can be used either to mask or to shift attention away from the tinnitus percept. However, the actual benefit of sound therapy and the mechanisms leading to the benefits remain limited. The objective of this study was to investigate the short-term (15 min) and long-term (2 months) effects of sound therapy on visual attention in chronic tinnitus patients. Visual attention was evaluated with the behavioral Attention Network Task, while the tinnitus-related distress was evaluated with the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) to quantify the effect of sound therapy. The study included 20 participants with chronic and bothersome tinnitus (>6 months, THI > 18) and 20 matched control participants. All participants took part in a first session consisting of a baseline condition, a short-term sound therapy condition and a silent control condition. The tinnitus participants also took part in a second session that evaluated the long-term effect of the therapy.A reduction in the tinnitus-related distress was found after the long-term use of sound therapy. Furthermore, a reduction in the differential index of the executive control (EC) attention network, indicating improved attention, was found after long-term use of sound therapy in the sound condition but not in the silent control condition. In contrast to earlier research, no differences were found between the tinnitus group and the control group for the baseline measurement of the EC attention network. Overall, the results suggest that there is no link between the visual attention networks and the sound therapy’s effect on tinnitus-related distress.
Funding Information: This research was funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, grant number 76604. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors.
attention, Attention Network Test (ANT), fractal tones, sound therapy, tinnitus
Other note
Joergensen , M L , Hyvärinen , P , Caporali , S & Dau , T 2022 , ' The Short and Long-Term Effect of Sound Therapy on Visual Attention in Chronic Tinnitus Patients ' , Audiology Research , vol. 12 , no. 5 , pp. 493-507 .