IJCEM Copyright © 2008-All rights reserved. Published by e-Century Publishing Corporation, Madison, WI 53711
Int J Clin Exp Med 2013;6(7):589-593

Original Article
Music therapy as an early intervention to prevent chronification of tinnitus

Miriam Grapp, Elisabeth Hutter, Heike Argstatter, Peter K Plinkert, Hans V Bolay

German Center for Music Therapy Research, Maaßstraße 32/1, 69123 Heidelberg, Germany; University Hospital for Ear, Nose and
Throat, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Received June 5, 2013; Accepted July 11, 2013; Epub August 1, 2013; Published August 15, 2013

Abstract: In the present study a music therapeutic intervention according to the ‘Heidelberg Model’ was evaluated as a complementary
treatment option for patients with acute tinnitus whom medical treatment only brought minimal or no improvement. The central question
was if music therapy in an early phase of tinnitus was able to reduce tinnitus symptoms and to prevent them from becoming chronical.
23 patients with acute tinnitus (6-12 weeks) were included in this study and took part in our manualized short term music therapeutic
treatment which lasted ten consecutive 50-minutes sessions of individualized therapy. Tinnitus severity and individual tinnitus related
distress were assessed by the Tinnitus Beeinträchtigungs-Fragebogen (i.e. Tinnitus Impairment Questionnaire, TBF-12) at baseline,
start of treatment, and end of treatment. Score changes in TBF-12 from start to end of the treatment showed significant improvements
in tinnitus impairment. This indicates that this music therapy approach applied in an initial stage of tinnitus can make an important
contribution towards preventing tinnitus from becoming a chronic condition. (IJCEM1306002).

Keywords: Music therapy, early intervention, acute tinnitus, recent-onset tinnitus, chronification

Address correspondence to: Miriam Grapp, German Center for Music Therapy Research, Maaßstraße 32/1, 69123 Heidelberg,
Germany. Phone: +49 (6221) 833860; Fax: +49 (6221) 833874; E-mail: miriam.grapp@dzm-heidelberg.de