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Comment & Response
August 2017

Cognitive Training Program to Treat Tinnitus—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri
  • 2Editor, JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;143(8):848-849. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2017.0523

In Reply We thank Dr Stevelink for his interest in our work and his comments on our article describing the results of our open-label randomized clinical trial of Brain Fitness Training Program-Tinnitus (BFP-T) for adults with tinnitus. Unfortunately, we believe Dr Stevelink has incorrectly interpreted our study as a study that confirms the effect of BFP-T as a treatment for tinnitus. In our study, we did not observe nor did we conclude there were significant changes in THI and TFI scores associated with the BFP-T intervention. However, 10 of the 20 participants randomized to the BFP-T program self-reported improvement in their tinnitus perception, attention, memory, and concentration, as presented in detail in eTable 2 in Supplement 2. As can be seen in the eTable, the changes on the THI and TFI scores were inconsistent with each other and with subjective responses of perception of change. In our conclusions, we stated that participants endorsed improvements in these domains, suggesting that the computer-based cognitive brain training program is associated with self-reported changes in attention, memory, and perception of tinnitus. We also stated that several specific limitations prevented us from making a definitive conclusion regarding the role of this particular cognitive training program for the treatment of tinnitus.

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