Psychometric assessment of mental health in tinnitus patients, depressive and healthy controls
Published on Nov 1, 2019in Psychiatry Research-neuroimaging2.208
· DOI :10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112582
Abstract Tinnitus describes the perception of a sound without external source and is characterized by high comorbidity, e.g. depression. In many studies, tinnitus patients were compared to healthy controls while a comorbid psychiatric diagnosis was an exclusion criterion. Consequently, patients with severe tinnitus and psychiatric comorbidity were often neglected. In the current study, we tried to fill this gap and compared four groups including two control groups: (1) chronic tinnitus patients with mild tinnitus distress (N = 37), (2) chronic tinnitus patients with severe tinnitus distress (N = 24), (3) patients suffering from depression, but no tinnitus (major depressive disorder, MDD; N = 23) and (4) healthy controls (N = 42). We assessed their clinical profile with clinical questionnaires concerning anxiety, depression and somatoform symptoms. Data were analyzed with a canonical discriminant analysis resulting in two factors. Factor 1 was called general psychopathology, because most questionnaires loaded highly on it. Regarding this factor, patients with severe tinnitus distress and MDD controls were impaired equally strong. Patients with mild tinnitus distress were more strongly affected than healthy controls. Both tinnitus groups reached higher values than the two control groups with regard to factor 2, called somatization. These results stress the presence of significant general psychopathology even in mild tinnitus.