Reflections and perceptions of chronic tinnitus during childhood and adolescence

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Abstract

Objectives
To enhance understanding of the lived experience of tinnitus during childhood/adolescence from the reflections of adults who experienced tinnitus during childhood/adolescence and the perceptions of primary carers and clinicians who care for children/adolescents who experience it. Secondly to develop a conceptual framework to better describe the experience of chronic tinnitus during childhood/adolescence and to guide approaches to assessment and management.
Design
Using a concept mapping approach, participants from two stakeholder groups generated statements describing what chronic tinnitus sounds and feels like to children/adolescents who experience it. Participants subsequently grouped and rated the statements to reveal key concepts. The first stakeholder group consisted of adults who had experienced chronic tinnitus as a child/adolescent and parents of children or adolescents who are experience chronic tinnitus. The second stakeholder group consisted of clinical professionals who provide care for children/adolescents experiencing chronic tinnitus.
Results
Participants identified 102 different descriptions of what chronic tinnitus sounds and feels like to children/adolescents, across five concepts: 1) Sounds of tinnitus; 2) Descriptions of tinnitus; 3) Perceptions of tinnitus; 4) Emotional responses to tinnitus and 5) Physical responses to tinnitus.
Conclusions
The experience of chronic tinnitus during childhood/adolescence is heterogenous and multifaceted. It may involve the perception of sound, emotions and physiological sequalae. How a child/adolescent experiences their tinnitus will be influenced by the interplay between the sound they perceive, the number of accompanying senses involved and their interpretation of the sound. As well as the emotions and physical effects they experience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110258
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Volume138
Early online date21 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

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