At present, approximately one fifth of people with tinnitus report that they have not received any form of intervention from their GP, with a third also reporting unhelpful attitudes from healthcare professionals (McFerran et al., 2018).
In addition, two thirds of tinnitus patients referred to secondary care are discharged without any therapeutic intervention, and only one in forty are able to access psychological services for tinnitus (McFerran et al., 2018) – a statistic at odds with considerable evidence which suggests that psychological treatments are the most effective tinnitus management strategy (Thompson et al., 2017).
Since there is a significant relationship between patient satisfaction and physical health outcomes (Kelley et al., 2014), and primary care professionals are responsible for any subsequent referrals, a change at primary care level appears essential.
Hi everyone, I'm Charlotte and I'm currently a Psychology MSc student at Leeds Trinity University. As you may be able to tell from the above, I'm passionate about improving the situation for those with tinnitus and bringing some recognition to this often overlooked condition. As a result of this, I'm undertaking a research study into the relationship between healthcare satisfaction and tinnitus distress as part of my thesis for the Psychology (Conversion) MSc at Leeds Trinity. This is being supervised by Dr James Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Psychology.
My research aim is to explore the relationship between a person's first interaction with a tinnitus healthcare professional and their current tinnitus distress. My goal is to help inform patients' treatment after initial diagnosis, which in turn should help reduce tinnitus-associated distress. Whether your experience has been good, bad, ugly or something in between, I'm interested in hearing from you. The only way to make a real change is for people to speak out - so please speak out!
To participate, you should be aged 18 or over and have a diagnosis of tinnitus. You will also ideally need to be able to provide a copy of an audiogram from the last two years. If eligible, you will be asked to complete an online survey measuring (a) the effect that tinnitus is having on your daily life, and (b) your tinnitus medical satisfaction. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
If your scores are particularly low or high, and you've stated that you're happy to be interviewed, you will then be invited to Leeds Trinity University to further discuss your first interaction with a tinnitus healthcare professional. This can also be held over Skype depending on your location. The interview should take approximately 30 minutes.
To find out more information or to take part, please email myself (Charlotte) on firstname.lastname@example.org
I will happily answer any questions you may have.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.