Clinical Presentation of Tinnitus and a Review of, and Evidence Base for, Tinnitus Applications A lack of evidence base presently exists, to validate the efficacy of mobile technology applications (apps) for tinnitus—highlighting a need for research. We reviewed tinnitus apps available via two popular smartphone operating systems: the Apple iOS and Google Android platforms. A March (2016) search using platforms available in the Austral-Asia ... Article
Article  |   October 26, 2016
Clinical Presentation of Tinnitus and a Review of, and Evidence Base for, Tinnitus Applications
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kim Wise
    Department of Communication Disorders, The University of Canterbury, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand
  • Elaine Ma
    Department of Communication Disorders, The University of Canterbury, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Kim Wise is a lecturer at the University of Canterbury. Elaine Ma has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Kim Wise is a lecturer at the University of Canterbury. Elaine Ma has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Kim Wise has previously published in this subject area. Elaine Ma has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Kim Wise has previously published in this subject area. Elaine Ma has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Part 1
Article   |   October 26, 2016
Clinical Presentation of Tinnitus and a Review of, and Evidence Base for, Tinnitus Applications
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, October 2016, Vol. 1, 43-56. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG7.43
History: Received April 19, 2016 , Revised July 11, 2016 , Accepted July 11, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, October 2016, Vol. 1, 43-56. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG7.43
History: Received April 19, 2016; Revised July 11, 2016; Accepted July 11, 2016

A lack of evidence base presently exists, to validate the efficacy of mobile technology applications (apps) for tinnitus—highlighting a need for research. We reviewed tinnitus apps available via two popular smartphone operating systems: the Apple iOS and Google Android platforms. A March (2016) search using platforms available in the Austral-Asia region yielded over 260 tinnitus-related apps. Search parameters required apps to employ an English language format and feature the keyword “tinnitus” in the app name or description. Those apps retained for consideration (257) enabled 4 primary themes to emerge, featuring apps offering: (1) sound therapy approaches, (2) information, tips or assessment, (3) health promotion or alternative approaches, and (4) miscellaneous, non-therapeutic apps. Themes enabled further organization of related app characteristics into sub-groups. Numerous apps (44.3%) presented sound menus, ordered into a virtual library of presumably beneficial listening options. To place tinnitus apps in the context of current therapeutic considerations, an overview of the clinical presentation of tinnitus, and approaches aimed at mediating the perception of tinnitus and affective responses, precedes the review. We suggest future research addresses: the relative benefit(s) of one app over another, efficacy of tinnitus apps as a therapeutic option, long-term outcomes, and generalizability across populations.

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