Design of a placebo-controlled, randomized study of the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for the treatment of chronic tinnitus
Dimensions of psychological complaints due to chronic and disabling tinnitus were investigated by means of the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ), administered to a sample of 138 tinnitus sufferers who had been admitted to a psychosomatic hospital. Factor analysis revealed that tinnitus-related patterns of emotional and cognitive distress, intrusiveness, auditory perceptual difficulties, sleep disturbances, and somatic complaints can be differentiated. Cognitive distortions and inappropriate attitudes towards the tinnitus and it's personal consequences were found to be highly intercorrelated forming a subgroup within a broader and more general distress factor. The stability of the factor solution obtained was examined by systematically varying the number of factors to be extracted. Based on the results of this method, scales are proposed for the questionnaire which can be used in clinical and scientific work to specifically assess major areas of tinnitus-related distress and their degree of severity. Implications for a further evaluation of the instrument are discussed.