People with tinnitus needed for online research study

22 May 2017 13:20:09.997

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.

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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.

More information on how to take part is available here: 

Or, follow this link to watch a short video about the study:

You can follow the study on Twitter @COMITIDStudy 

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

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Story credits

More information is available from Harriet Smith in the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 823 2637

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