The Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) is a self-administered test that I recommend to my patients. It is a way for them to evaluate the effectiveness of tinnitus treatments. The questionnaire and instructions for scoring are listed below. Everyone who suffers from tinnitus should have an audiological exam and physician exam.
Craig W. Newman, PhD, with two other researchers developed the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory in 1996 and it is the most common questionnaire used by audiologists and physicians. It consists of 25 questions divided into 3 subgroups: functional, emotional and catastrophic. Eleven items are included in the functional scale, 9 in the emotional scale and 5 in the catastrophic scale. Prefixes in the numbered questions are used to indicate to which subgroup the question belongs.
Please note that question 24 has the highest correlation to the total score because stress is a fundamental element in determining the degree of distress.
If your THI score improves by of 6-7 points with tinnitus treatment you probably received a clinically significant result.
The questionnaire and instructions for scoring are listed below.
TINNITUS HANDICAP INVENTORY
The aim of this questionnaire is to find out what problem tinnitus might be giving you. Check yes, sometimes, or no for each question.
|F1||Because of your tinnitus is it difficult for you to concentrate?|
|F2||Does the loudness of your tinnitus make it difficult for you to hear?|
|E3||Does your tinnitus make you angry?|
|F4||Does your tinnitus make you feel confused?|
|C5||Because of your tinnitus do you feel desperate?|
|E6||Do you complain a great deal about your tinnitus?|
|F7||Because of your tinnitus do you have trouble falling asleep?|
|C8||Do you feel as though you cannot escape your tinnitus?|
|F9||Does your tinnitus interfere with your ability to enjoy social activities such as going out to dinner, cinema?|
|E10||Because of your tinnitus do you feel frustrated?|
|C11||Because of your tinnitus do you feel you have a terrible disease?|
|F12||Does your tinnitus make it difficult for you to enjoy life?|
|F13||Does your tinnitus interfere with your job or household responsibilities?|
|F14||Because of your tinnitus do you find that you are often irritable?|
|F15||Because of your tinnitus is it difficult for you to read?|
|E16||Does your tinnitus make you upset?|
|E17||Do you feel that your tinnitus has placed stress on your relationship with members of your family, friends?|
|F18||Do you find it difficult to focus your attention away from your tinnitus and on to other things?|
|C19||Do you feel that you have no control over your tinnitus?|
|F20||Because of your tinnitus are you often tired?|
|E21||Because of your tinnitus do you feel depressed?|
|E22||Does your tinnitus make you feel anxious?|
|C23||Do you feel that you can no longer cope with your tinnitus?|
|F24||Does your tinnitus get worse when you are under stress?|
|E25||Does your tinnitus make you feel insecure?|
How to score the Questionnaire
YES = 4 SOMETIMES = 2 NO = 0
0-16 Slight (Only heard in quiet environments)
18-36 Mild (Easily masked by environmental sounds and easily forgotten with activities)
38-56 Moderate (Noticed in presence of background noise, although daily activities can still be performed)
58-76 Severe (Almost always heard, leads to disturbed sleep patterns and can interfere with daily activities)
78-100 Catastrophic (Always heard, disturbed sleep patterns, difficulty with any activities)
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