Validating a new questionnaire measure of tinnitus functioning and disability for the UK

PhD student

Dr Kathryn Fackrell

Supervisory team

Professor Deborah Hall
Dr Derek Hoare
Dr Johanna Barry

Funder

NIHR Nottingham Hearing BRU programme

Study period

2012-2015

In order to develop and evaluate different management strategies, it is essential to create a validated questionnaire with sensitivity for use in diagnosis and measuring treatment outcome.

Using a large sample of people with tinnitus in the UK, this PhD project evaluates the reliability, construct validity and sensitivity of a new questionnaire recently developed in the US: the ‘Tinnitus Functional Index’. The aim is to identify whether this questionnaire could be adopted as the UK ‘gold standard’ for use in both clinical practice and translational and clinical research trials. The project therefore has the potential for major clinical impact.

The work involves the longitudinal study of:

  1. a general clinical population of people with tinnitus undergoing treatment in the NHS and private sectors
  2. a research-trial population, including individuals who do not report intrusiveness or handicap because of their tinnitus, and who are not receiving any intervention.

Output from this research will help to generate recommendations about which questionnaire to use in clinical practice and will also inform the subsequent design of clinical trials.