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Illness Representations, Acceptance, Coping and Psychological Distress in Chronic Tinnitus

By Jessica Elizabeth Natanya Moreland


Tinnitus is a prevalent condition which is associated with significant distress and disability in a substantial proportion of the population. The variance in distress is not adequately explained by audiological characteristics of the symptom and it has been widely accepted that other variables are influential in determining the relationship between the stimulus and distress. A review of the literature highlights significant relationships between many psychosocial variables and tinnitus severity (impact on life). However, conclusions based on existing research are limited due to methodological weaknesses and widespread neglect of coherent theoretical foundations. The review identifies a need for further research with comprehensive theoretical underpinning to provide a greater understanding of adaptation to chronic tinnitus.\ud One theoretical framework which has been applied extensively to explore the process of adaptation to chronic conditions is Leventhal's Self Regulation Model (SRM). This model has not yet been applied to the study of chronic tinnitus with sufficient methodological rigour to draw firm conclusions on its utility for this patient group. Existing research on tinnitus suggests that coping efforts (integral to the SRM) are often associated with increased distress with the notable exception of strategies indicative of acceptance. Recent research into chronic pain has indicated a role for acceptance in predicting adaptation, however it has not been investigated in the context of tinnitus to date. Therefore, research was undertaken to investigate the relationships between cognitive illness representations, coping, acceptance and psychological distress in patients with chronic tinnitus. The findings suggest that cognitive illness representations predict variance in psychological distress and that coping and acceptance variables enhance the explanatory power of the models. The clinical implications of the findings and the limitations of the study are discussed. Finally, an account of the process of undertaking the research and reflections on this experience is presented

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9098

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  1. accepting the reality of the fact that it has happened.
  2. and feelings about tinnitus must
  3. Approximately how long ago did your tinnitus begin?
  4. (1997). Audiological and psychological characteristics of a group of tinnitus sufferers prior to tinnitus management training. doi
  5. Because of your tinnitus do you find that you are often irritable?
  6. Because of your tinnitus, do you feel depressed?
  7. Because of your tinnitus, do you feel frustrated?
  8. Because of your tinnitus, do you feel that you have a terrible disease?
  9. Because of your tinnitus, do you often feel tired?
  10. Because of your tinnitus, is it difficult for you to read?
  11. blaming myself for things that happened.
  12. can make any serious plans, I have to get
  13. Despite the tinnitus, I am now sticking to a certain
  14. Does you tinnitus interfere with your job or household responsibilities?
  15. Does your tinnitus get worse when you are under stress?
  16. Does your tinnitus make it difficult for you to enjoy life?
  17. Does your tinnitus make you feel anxious?
  18. Does your tinnitus make you feel insecure? YES NO SOMETIMES Appendix 14. Results of Mann Whitney U tests and Spearman's Rho correlation analyses to determine the relevance of background variables in relation to the outcome measures.
  19. Does your tinnitus make you upset? doi
  20. doing something to think about it less, such as going to movies, watching TV, reading, daydreaming, sleeping, or shopping.
  21. feel that you can no longer cope with your tinnitus?
  22. feel that you have no control over your tinnitus? doi
  23. feel that your tinnitus problem has placed stress on your relationships with members of your family and friends?
  24. find it difficult to focus your attention away from your tinnitus and on to other things?
  25. getting comfort and understanding from someone.
  26. getting help and advice from other people.
  27. How would you describe the onset of your tinnitus?
  28. How would you describe the sound of your tinnitus (tick all that apply)
  29. I am getting on with the business of living no matter what my level of tinnitus is
  30. I've been criticizing myself.
  31. I've been expressing my negative feelings
  32. I've been giving up the attempt to cope.
  33. I've been learning to live with it.
  34. I've been looking for something good in what is happening.
  35. I've been making jokes about it.
  36. I've been praying or meditating.
  37. I've been thinking hard about what steps to take.
  38. Keeping my tinnitus level under control takes first
  39. making fun of the situation. (e. g. going out to dinner or to the cinema)?
  40. My life is going well, even though I have tinnitus
  41. (2006). trying to come up with a strategy about what to do.
  42. trying to find comfort in my religion or spiritual beliefs.
  43. trying to get advice or help from other people about what to do.
  44. trying to see it in a different light, to make it seem more positive.
  45. using alcohol or other drugs to help me get through it.
  46. Were you experiencing any stressful events (e. g. bereavement, ill health, unemployment, relationship difficulties etc. ) around the time that your tinnitus began?
  47. Where do you hear your tinnitus? doi

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