Researchers into the common hearing condition ‘tinnitus’ are calling for help from the public for a new study to try to improve future medical investigations into the problem.
The COMIT’ID study is being run by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre based at The University of Nottingham. The team wants to find out from people with tinnitus, healthcare practitioners involved in hearing and other hearing researchers, which types of tinnitus complaints should be measured to assess whether a treatment is working.
Tinnitus is a hearing problem that affects around 1 in 10 adults and can be very distressing. It is described as any sound a person hears from one ear, both ears or in the head that is not from an outside source. Treatments are limited and costly to the health services so the researchers are working to improve knowledge and standards in tinnitus research across the UK and Europe.
Taking part in the COMIT’ID study will involve completing a three-round online survey, over a period of 4 months, followed by an optional face-to-face meeting with a selection of other participants.
Chief Investigator Professor Deborah Hall said: “This study is groundbreaking because it involves people with tinnitus working together with professionals to set standards for future clinical research. It’s about putting the patient voice at the heart of developing better treatments for tinnitus”
The aim of the COMIT’ID study is not to develop a new treatment, nor test an existing one but findings will help develop important guidance that will improve future research. This will mean that faster progress can be made in developing better treatments.
Steve Harrison, director of TinnitusHub, the world’s largest tinnitus patient community said: “When the guidance is launched we will have the first way of holding treatments to account, and understanding how they perform against each other. We will be able to dig into claims of success and understand just how much any particular treatment approach can help us, by measures that we helped to choose.”
The study has been designed with tinnitus patients. It is supported with funding from the British Tinnitus Association and Action on Hearing Loss charities.