The Effects of Tinnitus on Significant Others

Beukes, Eldré W., Ulep, Alyssa J., Andersson, Gerhard and Manchaiah, Vinaya (2022) The Effects of Tinnitus on Significant Others. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11 (5). p. 1393. ISSN 2077-0383

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Although chronic conditions could cause third-party disability for significant others (SOs), little is known regarding the impact of tinnitus on SO. This study aimed to identify the effects of tinnitus on SOs. SOs of individuals with tinnitus were invited to participate in this study. SOs completed three open-ended questions focusing on the effects of tinnitus. Individuals with tinnitus completed the Tinnitus Functional Index as a self-reported measure of tinnitus severity. A mixed-methods analysis approach was undertaken. Of the 156 SOs responding, 127 (85%) reported that tinnitus impacted them. The impact surrounded sound adjustments, activity limitations, additional demands, emotional toll, and helplessness. Tinnitus negatively affected the relationship for 92 (58%) due to communication frustrations and growing apart. When asked if tinnitus had any positive effects, 64 (47%) SOs reported positive lifestyle adaptions, personal development, health awareness, and a changed outlook. There was no association between the level of tinnitus severity and SOs reporting that tinnitus had an impact on them individually, their relationships, or those reporting positive experiences. The study highlighted the third-party disability many SOs of individuals with tinnitus experience. The results indicate that SOs may benefit from a shared intervention to help mitigate the negative effects through a better understanding of tinnitus.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: significant others, third-party disability, tinnitus, positive experiences, intervention
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 09:39
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 16:28

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