Health-related quality of life in subjective, chronic tinnitus patients : a scoping review
Purpose This scoping review aims to assess whether the severity or distress of subjective tinnitus is negatively associated or correlated with the level of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). A second objective is to examine whether tinnitus patients score differently on HRQoL questionnaires in comparison to subjects without tinnitus and whether HRQoL differs between specific subgroups of tinnitus. Methods This scoping review adheres to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines (PRISMA guidelines): the statement and extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR). The following databases were consulted (on the 20th of October 2023): PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Scopus. The search string was composed of the terms tinnitus, HRQoL, and synonyms. A double-blinded screening for eligibility was performed, first on the title and abstract and subsequently on the full-text articles. Studies were considered eligible if they looked at HRQoL questionnaire results for adult patients (> 18 years) reporting chronic (> 3 months), subjective tinnitus as a primary complaint. Results In total, 37 studies with a total sample size of 33,900 participants were included in this scoping review, with some studies answering multiple study objectives. Seventeen studies demonstrated the presence of a significant negative correlation between tinnitus-related distress and HRQoL. Two studies indicated that HRQoL is mediated by tinnitus-related distress. Eighteen studies found that, in general, patients with tinnitus scored significantly lower on HRQoL questionnaires in comparison to subjects without tinnitus. Nineteen studies demonstrated that subgroups of patients with more severe tinnitus complaints or specific additional complaints scored worse on HRQoL questionnaires. Conclusion Based on the current literature, chronic subjective tinnitus-related distress has a significant impact on health-related quality of life. In addition, subjects without tinnitus generally score significantly higher on HRQoL questionnaires than patients with tinnitus. The heterogeneity in outcome measures between studies precludes meta-analysis. Increased homogeneity in the choice of HRQoL questionnaires would make a comparison between studies possible, which would give valuable information on both a clinical and an economic level, guiding future tinnitus treatment.
Source (journal)
Jaro: journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. - New York, N.Y.
New york : Springer , 2024
1525-3961 [print]
1438-7573 [online]
(2024) , 27 p.
Pubmed ID
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
Research group
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 04.03.2024
Last edited 15.03.2024
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