Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2019 Feb;17(1):113-120. 10.9758/cpn.2019.17.1.113.

Gender Differences Affecting Psychiatric Distress and Tinnitus Severity

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. jjean@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. snparkmd@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
This study evaluated gender differences in the relationship between psychiatric distress and subjective tinnitus severity.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study included 134 female and 114 male patients who visited the otology outpatient clinic at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital for tinnitus from February to July 2015. Patients completed a series of instruments, including the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Korean version of Brief Encounter Psychosocial Instrument (BEPSI-K), and visual analogue scales assessing various tinnitus characteristics (loudness, awareness, annoyance, and effect on life).
RESULTS
Tinnitus severity did not significantly differ between the gender groups (p=0.632), and it correlated significantly with tinnitus characteristics and psychiatric distress. Partial correlations between tinnitus severity and depressive symptoms were stronger in males (r=0.411, p<0.01) than in females (r=0.304, p<0.01) while controlling for duration of tinnitus and tinnitus characteristics. However, stress (BEPSI-K) was positively correlated with tinnitus severity in only males (r=0.463, p<0.01). A multiple regression analysis revealed that effect of tinnitus on life, depressive symptoms, and stress were significantly associated with tinnitus severity in males, whereas only tinnitus annoyance and depressive symptoms were associated with tinnitus severity in females.
CONCLUSION
Tinnitus severity was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms and stress, and there were gender differences in the relationship between tinnitus severity and psychiatric components. It is necessary to be vigilant of psychiatric symptoms among patients with tinnitus who visit the otology outpatient clinic, especially for male patients.

Keyword

Tinnitus; Depression; Psychological stress; Sex
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