Tinnitus is the perception of a sound without an external source, often associated with adverse psychological and emotional effects leading to impaired quality of life (QoL). The present study investigated QoL and psychological distress in tinnitus patients and analysed the effects of associated comorbidities. Tonal and speech audiometry, tinnitus assessment, and clinical interviews were obtained from 122 Portuguese individuals (aged from 55 to 75). Portuguese versions of the Brief Symptoms Inventory (BSI), the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Health Survey (MOS SF-36) and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) were used to evaluate psychological distress, health-related QoL, social difficulties and tinnitus severity. The presence of tinnitus was significantly associated with hearing loss. The increases in tinnitus severity were associated with decreases in QoL, particularly regarding MOS SF-36 subscales “perception of health”, “social functioning”, and “mental health”. Regarding BSI, patients with greater tinnitus severity had more severe psychopathology symptoms, measured with scales “Obsessive-compulsive”, “Depression”, “Anxiety”, “Hostility” and “Phobic Anxiety”. Our study supports the notion of the negative impact of increased tinnitus severity on QoL and psychological distress in older adults. Presented data strengthen the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to tinnitus assessment and treatment. View Full-Text.
- Psychological distress
- Quality of life