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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Douglas Matheson

First Committee Member

Tricia Chambers


Tinnitus is experienced by as many as 50 million Americans and is clinically significant for approximately 12 million Americans. Tinnitus is often chronic and can evoke or exacerbate numerous psychological problems. No cure is available for tinnitus, thus treatment must focus on helping people learn to cope with tinnitus and its associated problems. The present study examined the efficacy of biodesensitization, biofeedback-controlled systematic desensitization, to decrease perceived tinnitus handicap, anxiety, depression, sleep difficulty, and daily assessments of distress in participants with tinnitus using a multiple-baseline design across 3 participants. The Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, and Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered at baseline and follow-up to determine changes in perceived handicap, depression, and anxiety. Also, the Tinnitus Monitoring Scale and Sleep Assessment Inventory were used to measure daily changes in tinnitus perception. It was hypothesized that biodesensitization therapy would produce significant decreases in participants' perceived tinnitus handicap, depression, and anxiety. It was also hypothesized that biodesensitization would yield improvements in daily and nightly tinnitus assessments. Results suggest that biodesensitization therapy related with decreases in scores on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and on Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. No substantial change was observed on the Beck Depression Inventory. Results also showed a relationship between biodesensitization therapy and improvements in daily assessments of tinnitus and sleep for all participants. Findings are interpreted and future research is suggested.




0599421401 , 9780599421400

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