Cognitive Aspects of Tinnitus Patient Management

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Despite the availability of several management procedures for tinnitus, many audiologists seem reluctant to engage in long-term rehabilitation of patients. Tinnitus patients are somewhat similar to chronic pain patients in that both groups suffer from intractable symptoms. A technique which has been effectively utilized in helping pain patients cope with their problems is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This approach can be applied with considerable success to tinnitus patients with the emphasis placed on treating the patient's reaction to tinnitus rather than the tinnitus itself. To accomplish this, maladaptive behaviors and thought patterns must be identified and then systematically altered via a program specifically designed for the individual. This procedure is analogous to many precepts governing aural rehabilitation.

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