FRIDAY, Aug. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For patients with tinnitus, a prototype digital therapeutic developed to provide goal-based counseling with personalized passive and active game-based sound therapy (UpSilent [USL]) yields a higher proportion of responders than a popular passive sound therapy app, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in Frontiers in Neurology.

Grant D. Searchfield, Ph.D., and Philip J. Sanders, Ph.D., from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, examined whether USL would provide superior tinnitus outcomes to a popular passive sound therapy app (White Noise Lite [WN]) over a 12-week trial period. Clinically meaningful change in the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) between baseline and 12 weeks of therapy was the primary outcome measure. The trial was completed by 31 participants in the USL group and 30 in the WN group.

The researchers found that the mean changes in TFI for the USL group were clinically meaningful (>13-point reduction) at six and 12 weeks (16.36 and 17.83 points, respectively), while the mean changes in the WN group were not (10.77 and 10.12 points, respectively). At six and 12 weeks, a significantly higher proportion of USL participants achieved meaningful TFI change than WN participants (55 and 65 percent of USL participants versus 33 and 43 percent of WN participants, respectively). The groups had similar usability measures.

“What this therapy does is essentially rewire the brain in a way that de-emphasizes the sound of the tinnitus to a background noise that has no meaning or relevance to the listener,” Searchfield said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to TrueSilence.

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