Objectives: The effect of cochlear implantation on tinnitus is heterogeneous: implantation does not always reduce tinnitus and may even worsen tinnitus. Therefore, it is important to know which factors influence the consequences of cochlear implantation for tinnitus. To date, no consensus has been reached regarding the factors that influence tinnitus. This study aimed to create prognostic models, using binary logistic regression analyses to predict positive or negative changes in tinnitus after cochlear implantation.
Methods: For this study we retrospectively sent two questionnaire packages to 117 cochlear implant patients.
Results: In the binary logistic regression analyses of the responses to the questionnaires, it was not possible to create a significant model to predict a positive effect of cochlear implantation on tinnitus. However, a negative effect of cochlear implantation on tinnitus was predictable, using a backward stepwise selection method in a model including the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB) and Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire (THQ) (P < .001, Nagelkerke R2 = 0.529).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the lower the preoperative tinnitus handicap and the preoperative hearing handicap, the higher the chance that cochlear implantation will worsen tinnitus. More research needs to be done, preferable in a big prospective study, to make this model instrumental for clinical decision making and preoperative patient counselling. However, our results might suggest that preoperative THQ and APHAB screening could be meaningful. Especially in patients who are afraid to develop tinnitus or tinnitus worsening as complication of cochlear implantation.
Level of Evidence: 4.