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Quality of Life: Tinnitus and Psychopathological Symptoms

Author(s): Luciana Geocze, Sujana S Chandrasekhar, Samantha Mucci, Ektor Tsuneo Onishi, Norma de Oliveira Penido


Evaluate the presence of psychopathological symptoms and quality of life in patients with bothersome tinnitus and correlate it with tinnitus annoyance.

Study Design

A cross-sectional study was performed. Setting: Ambulatory of Tinnitus - UNIFESP/EPM.

Subjects and Methods

Group A included 40 patients with persistent and bothersome tinnitus and hearing loss; Group B had 26 patients with persistent and bothersome tinnitus without hearing loss; Group C (control group) had 26 individuals without either tinnitus or hearing loss. Each participant completed the BECK depression and anxiety scales, the Obsessions and Compulsions Inventory - Revised, the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36.


Psychopathological symptoms were more present in the patients than in controls (p<0.05); 37.9% had depression, 47% anxiety and 40% obsessive-compulsive disorder. Positive associations between the degree of discomfort and depression, anxiety and the concurrence of more than one psychopathological symptoms were observed. The degree of tinnitus discomfort showed a strong correlation (r>0.40) with anxiety and depression; physical, social and mental health quality of life domains and obsessive symptoms.


Depression, anxiety and OCD are related to tinnitus annoyance. These patients showed impairment in “social aspect”, “emotional aspect” and “functional capacity”. The presence of more than one psychopathological disorder was responsible for a worsening in the degree of tinnitus. The concomitance of anxiety and depression, depression and obsessive symptoms (OCD) or depression and lack of social interactions, were able to predict an increased discomfort of tinnitus in these patients.

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