Aistė Lengvenytė1, Robertas Strumila1
1Vilnius University Medical Faculty, Vilnius, Lithuania
Introduction: Tinnitus is a rather prevalent disorder that has a profound impact on quality of life, but its pathogenesis is not yet fully understood. Analysis that would incorporate such contributing factors as personality traits or psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression is lacking.
Objective: To evaluate the interconnection among perceived tinnitus severity, personality traits, anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Methods: Cross-sectional study that involved 70 patients with the chief complaint of chronic tinnitus was performed at Vilnius University Hospital Santariskiu Clinics. Questionnaires consisting of Lithuanian version of Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), Big Five personality dimensions and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) we given. Linear regression, independent samples T-test and Factorial Anova were used.
Results: Mean THI score was 46.61 (SD 24.51). Mean VAS score 5.87 (SD 2.32). THI and VAS were strongly correlated (R = .722, p <0.01). High THI scores were predicted by high anxiety, depression, and neuroticism scores (p <0.001, standardized coefficients – anxiety 0.583, depression 0.571, neuroticism 0.569). Patients who scored high on neuroticism had significantly higher results in THI (59.48 vs. 40.32, p <0.05), HADS anxiety (10.17 vs. 7.36 p <0.05), depression (6.61 vs. 4.19 p <0.05) subscales. Extroversion and consciousness correlated inversely with HADS depression subscale (4.14 vs. 5.94 and 4.30 vs. 7.71, p < 0.05) and THI (41.19 vs. 52.70, p <0.05). VAS scores of patients who scored high on neuroticism were significantly higher in the same THI interval, F (1, 63) 6.426, p <0.05.
Conclusions: Tinnitus severity could be predicted by anxiety, depressive symptoms, symptoms of anxiety and depressions, anxiety being the most important. Neuroticism was positive predictor of tinnitus severity, anxiety and depression, while extroversion and consciousness were protective traits. More neurotic patients with analogue THI score expressed their tinnitus severity as higher in VAS.