British Tinnitus Association appoints Head of Research in innovative partnership

British Tinnitus Association appoints Head of Research in innovative partnership


7 May 2015 – To cement their position as a leader in tinnitus research, the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) has appointed Dr Magdalena Sereda as their first Head of Research. Dr Sereda will be based at the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) which is a partnership between Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Nottingham and the MRC Institute of Hearing Research (MRC IHR).

Dr Sereda’s research programme will form an entirely new strand of tinnitus research within the BRU addressing issues and controversies around tinnitus management within the NHS. The programme was designed to address research priorities identified by the James Lind Alliance Tinnitus Priority Setting Partnership. Initially, she will be researching the use of hearing aids and combination hearing aids in tinnitus management. As the role develops, further research projects will be led by Dr Sereda addressing areas of need identified by the tinnitus community.
The BTA is the only UK charity solely dedicated to supporting the millions of people in the UK who are affected by tinnitus, a sound in the ears with no external source, known cause, or current cure.

Comments Dr Sereda: “The BTA Head of Research position is unique in the way that it supports research directly relevant for people with tinnitus. The Nottingham Hearing BRU strongly believes in patient and public involvement from the early research stages onwards and this is very close to my heart. I look forward to working in close collaboration with people with tinnitus, the BTA and clinicians to make my research relevant and important and to address current hot topics and issues around management of tinnitus within the NHS.”

Says David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the BTA: “We are delighted to have appointed Magdalena as our first Head of Research. The BTA has supported and commissioned research since our inception. This is enshrined in our mission statement and several of our strategic priorities. The BTA aims to ultimately find a cure for tinnitus but also seek to prove the efficacy or otherwise of current treatments and seek a better understanding of the impact and burden of tinnitus on the UK. There is little spent on tinnitus research when compared to similar conditions and it is clear from surveys of BTA members they view the BTA’s support of research as the most vital area of its work. This appointment further demonstrates the BTA’s position as a world leader in supporting tinnitus research.”

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Editors Notes

About the BTA

The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) is an independent charity which supports thousands of people who experience tinnitus and advises medical professionals from across the world.

The BTA is the primary source of support and information for people with tinnitus in the UK, facilitating an improved quality of life.
They aim to encourage prevention through its educational programme and to seek effective treatment for tinnitus through a medical research programme.
The support the BTA offers to 335,000 people per year who are affected by tinnitus is reliant upon the generous donations of their supporters and fundraisers. They receive no government support and need to raise half a million pounds each year to continue their UK wide support. Donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/BTA

Not an illness or disease, tinnitus is a term that describes the sensation of hearing a noise in the absence of an external sound. The noise can have virtually any quality. Ringing, whistling, and buzzing are common, but more complex sounds may also be reported. Troublesome tinnitus can be very distressing for the affected individual, and issues may arise with sleep, concentration and mood. However, in many cases, subtle changes in people’s environment can address these issues, and improve quality of life.

The experienced team at the BTA understands the impact that tinnitus can have on the lives of those who experience tinnitus and those who live with them, so seeks to provide the most appropriate and expert advice and information free of charge – via a confidential freephone helpline on 0800 018 0527 and online at www.tinnitus.org.uk. The BTA can also post printed and audio information and advice.

Visit the BTA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishTinnitusAssociation and follow the BTA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BritishTinnitus

About the James Lind Alliance Tinnitus Priority Setting Partnership

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) Tinnitus Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) began in 2011. It was set up to identify the many questions about tinnitus assessment, diagnosis and treatment that remain unanswered. The hope was that the outcome of the PSP would enable more targeted research into tinnitus.

The initial founders were the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) and the Judi Meadows Memorial Fund.

Working with the JLA, the process of choosing the uncertainties began in September 2011, with patients and clinicians submitting the questions that they would like to see researched. Over 2500 questions were subsequently posed. A pooling and filtering process then took place removing anything previously researched leaving 393 questions. This long list was refined to 170 by removing those questions selected by only one or two people. These were then distributed within the tinnitus community so that patients and clinicians could choose their top ten. A shortlist was produced from these responses and discussed at a meeting in London on 16 July 2012 where both patients and clinicians finally agreed on the top ten.

The top ten research uncertainties chosen were:

• What management strategies are more effective than a usual model of audiological care in improving outcomes for people with tinnitus?
• Is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), delivered by audiology professionals, effective for people with tinnitus? Here comparisons might be with usual audiological care or CBT delivered by a psychologist.
• What management strategies are more effective for improving tinnitus-related insomnia than a usual model of care?
• Do any of the various available complementary therapies provide improved outcome for people with tinnitus compared with a usual model of care?
• What type of digital hearing aid or amplification strategy provides the most effective tinnitus relief?
• What is the optimal set of guidelines for assessing children with tinnitus?
• How can tinnitus be effectively managed in people who are Deaf or who have a profound hearing loss?
• Are there different types of tinnitus and can they be explained by different mechanisms in the ear or brain?
• What is the link between tinnitus and hyperacusis (over-sensitivity to sounds)?
• Which medications have proven to be effective in tinnitus management compared with placebo?

The tinnitus uncertainties will now appear on the UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (UK DUETs). UK DUETs publishes treatment uncertainties from patients, carers, clinicians, and from research recommendations, covering a wide variety of health problems.

More details and a full report can be found at www.tinnitus.org.uk/JLA

For more information

Nic Wray, Communications Manager
nic@tinnitus.org.uk
0114 250 9933
07816 827304

Emily Broomhead, Projects Manager
emily@tinnitus.org.uk
0114 250 9933

British Tinnitus Association
Ground Floor, Unit 5 Acorn Business Park
Woodseats Close
Sheffield
S8 0TB