Tinnitus is a common and distressing symptom affecting at least 10% of the population. It is poorly understood. There are many proposed therapies but a significant lack of well-controlled trials. This study is a secondary analysis from our recent study to determine the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy as a treatment for tinnitus. It was designed as a single-site prospective interventional clinical trial and took place at a teaching hospital in the United Kingdom. Participants received a maximum of 10 sessions of EMDR. The EMDR used was a bespoke protocol: EMDR-for-tinnitus protocol (tEMDR). Outcome measures included evidence-based tinnitus and mood questionnaires recorded at baseline, discharge, and at 6 months post-discharge. The main outcome measure was the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, and scores demonstrated a statistically significant improvement. Secondary analyses conducted indicate statistically significant improvement for tinnitus patients with and without probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnoses. There was no significant decrease in depression and anxiety measures, however these were at the minimal range at the start. The purpose of this article is to describe the rationale behind the use of EMDR in tinnitus, the process of administrating a bespoke EMDR protocol, and the differences between tinnitus sufferers with differing experiences of trauma. To date our study is one of only two published studies investigating the use of EMDR for tinnitus; we therefore introduce an evolving and exciting application for EMDR therapy.
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Copyright © 2020 EMDR International Association
Moore, T., Phillips, J. S., Erskine, S. E., & Nunney, I. (2020). What Has EMDR Taught Us About the Psychological Characteristics of Tinnitus Patients? Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 14(4), 229–240. https://doi.org/10.1891/EMDR-D-19-00055
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research