Management of tinnitus in English NHS audiology departments: An evaluation of current practice

Derek J. Hoare, Phillip E. Gander, Luke Collins, Sandra Smith, Deborah A. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rationale, aim and objective In 2009, the UK Department of Health formalized recommended National Health Service practices for the management of tinnitus from primary care onwards. It is timely therefore to evaluate the perceived practicality, utility and impact of those guidelines in the context of current practice. Methods We surveyed current practice by posting a 36-item questionnaire to all audiology and hearing therapy staff that we were able to identify as being involved in tinnitus patient care in England. Results In total, 138 out of 351 clinicians responded (39% response rate). The findings indicate a consensus opinion that management should be tailored to individual symptom profiles but that there is little standardization of assessment procedures or tools in use. Conclusions While the lack of standardized practice might provide flexibility to meet local demand, it has drawbacks. It makes it difficult to ascertain key standards of best practice, it complicates the process of clinical audit, it implies unequal patient access to care, and it limits the implementation of translational research outcomes. We recommend that core elements of practice should be standardized, including use of a validated tinnitus questionnaires and an agreed pathway for decision making to better understand the rationale for management strategies offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-334
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • good practice guidelines
  • hearing therapist
  • outcome measure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Management of tinnitus in English NHS audiology departments: An evaluation of current practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this