- Convey a message of hope when talking to tinnitus patients
- Show compassion and help build resilience in patients
- Explore what tinnitus means to patients and how it impacts their lives
- Provide relevant counseling and coping strategies to patients
What are the benefits?
Why these tools?
Many hearing care professionals find it challenging to treat tinnitus patients, even though tinnitus is a common symptom. There are a number of reasons for uncertainty in tinnitus management. These include the fact that the tinnitus has different causes and patient experiences vary, so a treatment that works for one patient may not work for another. Additionally, many clinicians do not specialize in tinnitus and may feel that they do not have adequate counseling skills to support the patient.
One of the tools aims to provide tinnitus patients with information on what to do if they have tinnitus. The two other tools aim to help clinicians build their counseling skills. Clinicians are sometimes the first to treat tinnitus patients, therefore they need good counseling skills and the ability to apply a holistic approach to care.
Telling patients that they just need to get used to their tinnitus might leave them with the feeling that "nothing can be done" about their tinnitus. The first step to supporting patients with tinnitus is to encourage them to access the resources they need to understand, manage, and cope with it.
Hearing care professionals are concerned about how to relate to their patients and deal with the psychosocial aspects of tinnitus. Most importantly, they want to send their patients home with a message of hope.
These tools are based on the knowledge and experience of 15 international specialists who have worked with the psychosocial and other aspects of tinnitus management. These experts from the US, Australia, UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark and Canada participated in the Tinnitus Innovation Challenge mini-seminar in Denmark in December 2015.