Standardized diagnostics for tinnitus at the Maastricht University Medical Center
Loo, A.A.H. van
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Title: Standardized diagnostics for tinnitus at the Maastricht University Medical Center Background: Tinnitus can be defined as a continuous perception of a sound without an external source, with a prevalence of 10-15% in the general population. Tinnitus can be associated with a variety of psychological and psychiatric disorders. Caused by the uncertain pathophysiology and heterogeneity, diagnostics is largely based on patients’ report of symptoms. Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC) has designed a diagnostic and intervention model for tinnitus, based on usual care. Aim and research questions: The aim of the study was to take a first step in standardizing tinnitus diagnostics. The main research question was to determine the efficacy of the MUMC tinnitus model, based on the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Consumer Quality Index (CQI). Method: In a prospective cohort study without control group, TQ and HADS were analyzed to determine effects and correlations and regression analysis were performed. CQI data were studied to examine patient satisfaction. Overall grades were calculated, TQ gradations and grades were correlated and questions regarding time span, the provision of information, the staff and coordination were clustered to discover points for improvement. Results: Correlation between TQ and HADS was strongly positive, HADS showed a predictive value for TQ. The mean overall grade for information and communication in the tinnitus team was 7.84, for expertise the general grade was 8.10, for service at the audiological center the grade was 7.99 and for overall tinnitus team the grade was 7.89. Patients were not satisfied about shared-decision-making. Conclusion: The results show that the MUMC tinnitus model is an effective model and is a good first step towards standardized care for tinnitus patients. Recommendations: Improvements regarding waiting time and shared-decision-making should be considered carefully.