Cardiff Metropolitan University
EANDH-D-22-00057_FZ_Fei Zhao.pdf (1.51 MB)

Efficacy of tailor-made notched music training versus tinnitus retraining therapy in adults with chronic subjective tinnitus: A randomized controlled clinical trial

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posted on 2023-07-24, 13:56 authored by Zhaopeng Tong, Wenting Deng, Xiayin Huang, Hanwen Dong, Jiahong Li, Fei ZhaoFei Zhao, Guisheng Chen, Xueqing Zhou, Hongyu Li, Liping Lan, Hemei Huang, YU-Chen Chen, Yiqing Zheng, Yuexin Cai



Chronic subjective tinnitus can have a serious effect on daily life, even causing serious psychological disorders. Currently there are no specific effective solutions or cures. Tailor-made notched music training (TMNMT) is a recently proposed sound therapy that has simpler processes and a higher compliance rate than tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), a widely used treatment for chronic subjective tinnitus. This study explores the therapeutic effect of TMNMT in comparison to TRT to highlight its clinical value.


The study was a randomized controlled, single-blinded clinical trial. One hundred twenty eligible participants were randomly assigned to receive TMNMT (n = 60) or TRT (n = 60) for 3 mo with concurrent follow-up. It should be noted that the duration of sound treatment in TRT was modified to 2 hr per day for better feasibility in practice. The primary outcome was mean change in tinnitus handicap inventory (THI) measured at baseline (T0), 1 mo (T1) and 3 mo (T2) after intervention. Change in visual analog scale (VAS) was measured as a secondary outcome. A comparison of therapeutic effectiveness between TMNMT and TRT was evaluated by repeated measure analysis of variance.


One hundred and twelve (93%) of participants took part in the study, of which 64 were men and 48 women. Mean (SD) age was 42.80 (12.91) years. Fifty-eight were allocated to receive TMNMT and 54 to receive TRT. The between-group difference in primary outcome was −6.90 points (95% confidence interval [CI], −13.53 to −0.27) at T1 and −6.17 points (95% CI, −13.04 to 0.71) at T2. These results closely reached to clinical significance of tinnitus-related effective relief. For the secondary outcome, the mean value in the TMNMT group was 0.83 points (95% CI, 0.12 to 1.54), significantly lower than the mean value of the TRT group. The differences in THI and VAS between the two groups were statistically significant after intervention. Further analysis showed that age and baseline THI and VAS scores were associated with change in THI and VAS scores after interventions.


Both TMNMT and TRT were able to alleviate chronic subjective tinnitus effectively after a 3 month intervention. When the two forms of therapy were compared TMNMT appeared to be more effective and consequently potentially superior to TRT for reducing tinnitus loudness and functional and emotional disturbance associated with chronic subjective tinnitus.


This work was funded by Sun Yat-Sen Clinical Research Cultivating Program (SYS-Q?201903), National Natural Science Foundation of China (82071062),Key R&D Program of Guangdong Province, China (Grant No. 2018B030339001), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong province (2021A1515012038) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (20ykpy91).



Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Tong, Z., Deng, W., Huang, X., Dong, H., Li, J., Zhao, F., Chen, G., Zhou, X., Li, H., Lan, L. and Huang, H. (2023) 'Efficacy of Tailor-Made Notched Music Training Versus Tinnitus Retraining Therapy in Adults With Chronic Subjective Tinnitus: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial', Ear and Hearing. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000001318

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

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Fei Zhao

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Speech, Hearing and Communication

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This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Ear and Hearing 44 (4)


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