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01-10-2013 | Uitgave 8/2013

Quality of Life Research 8/2013

Analysis of mental disorders in tinnitus patients performed with Composite International Diagnostic Interview

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 8/2013
N. Zirke, C. Seydel, D. Arsoy, B. F. Klapp, H. Haupt, A. J. Szczepek, H. Olze, G. Goebel, B. Mazurek



Known association between tinnitus and psychological distress prompted us to examine patients with chronic tinnitus by using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), which is a standardized and reliable method used for the diagnosis of mental disorders.


One hundred patients with chronic tinnitus admitted to the Tinnitus Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, were included in this study. Data were collected between February 2008 and February 2009. Besides CIDI, the Tinnitus Questionnaire according to Goebel and Hiller, the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale, and the General Anxiety Disorder—7 were used.


Using CIDI, we have identified one or more mental disorders in 46 tinnitus patients. In that group, we found persistent affective disorders (37 %), anxiety disorders (32 %), and somatoform disorders (27 %). Those patients who had affective or anxiety disorders were more distressed by tinnitus and were more anxious and more depressed than tinnitus patients without mental disorders. Psychological impairment positively correlated with tinnitus distress: Patients with decompensated tinnitus had significantly more affective and anxiety disorders than patients with compensated tinnitus.


In the present study, we have detected a high rate (almost half of the cases) of psychological disorders occurring in patients with chronic tinnitus. The patients diagnosed with psychological disorders were predominantly affected by affective and anxiety disorders. Psychological disorders were associated with severity of tinnitus distress. Our findings imply a need for routine comprehensive screening of mental disorders in patients with chronic tinnitus.

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