Exploratory Investigation of a Handheld Device for Home Based Auditory Training Therapy

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dc.contributor.advisor Searchfield, G en
dc.contributor.author Hunt, Ryan en
dc.date.accessioned 2012-03-06T00:46:26Z en
dc.date.issued 2012 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/13018 en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Tinnitus is the phantom perception of sound, it affects approximately 20% of the general population, while around 2% of the population seeks professional help due to associated mood, sleep, and attentional disturbances. Despite these large populations, few people have access to specialist tinnitus clinics. Many tinnitus sufferers complain of poor concentration, which has been shown to be associated with the control of attention, especially the inhibition of attention task irrelevant activity. This study trials a home based auditory training program using a handheld device for tinnitus therapy, a system which could improve access and improve patient to clinician ratios. The first aim of this study was to determine if negative aspects of tinnitus could be reduced by training frequency discrimination and promote improvement in auditory attention. The second aim was to investigate the usability of the device and the feasibility of the training schedule. Ten participants (ages 38-65yrs, mean 51.6yrs) underwent training of 20 min per day for 20 days with several measures undertaken pre and post training. Results suggest reduced minimum masking levels at low frequencies, with other psychoacoustic measures showing no significant changes. Tinnitus questionnaires and a measure of attention (Stroop test) did not display any robust training effect although the Tinnitus Severity Numeric Scale demonstrated excellent reliability. Data from the training device showed that the training was most effective in a selected subgroup. We conclude that undertaking this form of auditory training appears to improve some negative aspects of tinnitus despite small participant numbers. Our results suggest that for more substantial effects, an extended training period with a control group be undertaken. The device showed fair usability, with several areas of improvement discussed. The use of a handheld device daily was feasible and provides an exciting avenue for future tinnitus therapy options. We propose that future studies effectively target Smartphone platforms to create a feature rich and engaging system that provides improved accessibility to tinnitus populations worldwide. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Exploratory Investigation of a Handheld Device for Home Based Auditory Training Therapy en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 313039 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-03-06 en
dc.identifier.wikidata Q112890041

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