The Journey of Hearing and Hearing-Related Disorders over Time

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Otolaryngology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2024 | Viewed by 2959

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute für Information and Process Management, Eastern Switzerland University for Applied Sciences, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Interests: eHealth; tinnitus; hearing; mental health; decision support; ecological momentary assessment

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, University of Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, Netherlands
Interests: chronic disorders; mental health; mental illness; positive psychology; ecological momentary assessment; big data; biostatistics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We want to invite you to contribute to a Special Issue on "The Journey of Hearing and Hearing-Related Disorders over Time".

Hearing is a critical sense, which is a prerequisite for interpersonal communication, perception of the environment, and social interaction. However, hearing competence is not a stable capability but changes over time due to various reasons such as aging, acquired diseases, infections, environmental influences, and more.

Loss of hearing or the development of hearing-related disorders (e.g., tinnitus or hyperacusis) can lead to significant changes in the auditory stimulation to the brain, the perception of the environment and can trigger behavioral changes in the affected persons. These changes can be understood as a dynamic process developing over time. In principle, we distinguish the natural process over time from processes with interventions (e.g., correction for hearing loss or treatment of the hearing-related disorder).

In this special issue, we want to collect scientific work that helps to understand better the development of hearing and/or hearing-related disorders over time as well as influencing factors for this temporal development and how different treatment strategies can improve the impairment or the perceived disability of the affected people. Also, methods suitable to study those processes over time, like ecological momentary assessment are of interest.

We welcome original research articles and systematic reviews on the development of hearing or hearing-related disorders (e.g., tinnitus or hyperacusis) over time, the impact of an interaction between hearing loss and hearing-related disorders on the progress, the influence of potential treatments and methods to evaluate progression of hearing loss over time.

Prof. Dr. Winfried Schlee
Dr. Jorge Piano Simões
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Clinical Medicine is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • hearing
  • hearing-related disorders
  • tinnitus
  • hyperacusis
  • hearing journey
  • temporal fluctuation of hearing
  • temporal fluctuation of hearing-related disorders
  • AI for hearing
  • mental health
  • mental illness

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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27 pages, 2907 KiB  
Article
Using Participatory Action Research to Redirect Tinnitus Treatment and Research—An Interview Study
by Julia Kajüter, Gerko Schaap, Anneke Sools and Jorge Piano Simões
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(11), 3099; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13113099 - 25 May 2024
Viewed by 219
Abstract
Background: Chronic bothersome tinnitus is a prevalent tinnitus subtype placing a high burden on affected individuals, economies, and healthcare systems. Patient and professional perspectives seem to be partly misaligned on how to improve tinnitus research and treatments in the future. This qualitative interview [...] Read more.
Background: Chronic bothersome tinnitus is a prevalent tinnitus subtype placing a high burden on affected individuals, economies, and healthcare systems. Patient and professional perspectives seem to be partly misaligned on how to improve tinnitus research and treatments in the future. This qualitative interview study was aimed at exploring, comparing, and stipulating the perspectives of different tinnitus stakeholder groups on ways of redirecting research and treatments to reduce patients’ suffering while accounting for challenges within these practices. Methods: This study used the participatory action research approach to facilitate the stakeholder involvement. Semi-structured online interviews including five participants (two tinnitus patients, two tinnitus researchers and medical specialists, one general practitioner) were conducted. Inductive grounded theory and the constant comparative method were used for data analysis. Results: Four categories for suggested research adaptations ((I) ethical patient involvement; (II) prioritising cure versus coping research; (III) funding; (IV) ethical publication) and six categories for suggested treatment adaptations ((I) ethical professional support; (II) patient involvement; (III) interdisciplinarity; (IV) professional tinnitus education; (V) clinical treatment guidelines; (VI) psychological treatment) were identified. Participants held partly similar priorities such as increasing pathophysiological and cure research. Differences between participants included, for instance, patients aiming for increasing patient involvement in tinnitus research and treatments compared to professionals arguing that the excessive focus on patients’ conditions might reduce the patients’ chances of habituating to their symptoms. Conclusions: Four action redirections for improving tinnitus research and treatment practices were defined: (I) facilitating communication between and within stakeholder groups, (II) increasing the reflective use of patient involvement, (III) increasing interdisciplinarity, and (IV) reducing barriers to receiving psychological treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Journey of Hearing and Hearing-Related Disorders over Time)

Review

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13 pages, 260 KiB  
Review
Minimal Clinically Important Difference of Tinnitus Outcome Measurement Instruments—A Scoping Review
by Berthold Langguth and Dirk De Ridder
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(22), 7117; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12227117 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 947
Abstract
Objective: Tinnitus assessment and outcome measurement are complex, as tinnitus is a purely subjective phenomenon. Instruments used for the outcome measurement of tinnitus in the context of clinical trials include self-report questionnaires, visual analogue or numeric rating scales and psychoacoustic measurements of tinnitus [...] Read more.
Objective: Tinnitus assessment and outcome measurement are complex, as tinnitus is a purely subjective phenomenon. Instruments used for the outcome measurement of tinnitus in the context of clinical trials include self-report questionnaires, visual analogue or numeric rating scales and psychoacoustic measurements of tinnitus loudness. For the evaluation of therapeutic interventions, it is critical to know which changes in outcome measurement instruments can be considered as clinically relevant. For this purpose, the concept of the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) has been introduced. Study design: Here we performed a literature research in PubMed in order to identify for which tinnitus outcome measurements MCID criteria have been estimated and which of these estimates fulfil the current methodological standards and can thus be considered as established. Results: For most, but not all tinnitus outcome instruments, MCID calculations have been performed. The MCIDs for the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ), the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) and visual analogue scales (VAS) vary considerably across studies. Psychoacoustic assessments of tinnitus such as loudness matching have not shown sufficient reliability and validity for the use as an outcome measurement. Conclusion: Future research should aim at the confirmation of the available estimates in large samples involving various therapeutic interventions and under the consideration of time intervals and baseline values. As a rule of thumb, an improvement of about 15% can be considered clinically meaningful, analogous to what has been seen in other entirely subjective pathologies like chronic pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Journey of Hearing and Hearing-Related Disorders over Time)

Other

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10 pages, 2881 KiB  
Case Report
Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (dMRI) and Cochlear Implant Outcomes in Axonal Auditory Neuropathy: A Case Report
by Gary Rance, Raoul Wills, Andrew Kornberg and Julien Zanin
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(11), 3072; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13113072 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Background: Progressive auditory dysfunction is common in patients with generalized neurodegenerative conditions, but clinicians currently lack the diagnostic tools to determine the location/degree of the pathology and, hence, to provide appropriate intervention. In this study, we present the white-matter microstructure measurements derived from [...] Read more.
Background: Progressive auditory dysfunction is common in patients with generalized neurodegenerative conditions, but clinicians currently lack the diagnostic tools to determine the location/degree of the pathology and, hence, to provide appropriate intervention. In this study, we present the white-matter microstructure measurements derived from a novel diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) technique in a patient with axonal auditory neuropathy and consider the findings in relation to the auditory intervention outcomes. Methods: We tracked the hearing changes in an adolescent with Riboflavin Transporter Deficiency (Type 2), evaluating the sound detection/discrimination, auditory evoked potentials, and both structural- and diffusion-weighted MRI findings over a 3-year period. In addition, we explored the effect of bilateral cochlear implantation in this individual. Results: Between the ages of 15 years and 18 years, the patient showed a complete loss of functional hearing ability. The auditory brainstem response testing indicated an auditory neuropathy with evidence of normal cochlear function but disrupted auditory neural activity. While three structural MRI assessments across this period showed a clinically normal cochleovestibular anatomy, the dMRI evaluation revealed a significant loss of fiber density consistent with axonopathy. The subsequent cochlear implant function was affected with the high levels of current required to elicit auditory sensations and concomitant vestibular and facial nerve stimulation issues. Conclusions: The case study demonstrates the ability of dMRI technologies to identify the subtle white-matter microstructure changes in the auditory pathway, which may disrupt the neural function in patients with auditory axonopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Journey of Hearing and Hearing-Related Disorders over Time)
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10 pages, 1597 KiB  
Case Report
Remediation of Perceptual Deficits in Progressive Auditory Neuropathy: A Case Study
by Gary Rance, Dani Tomlin, Eppie M. Yiu and Julien Zanin
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2127; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072127 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 919
Abstract
Background: Auditory neuropathy (AN) is a hearing disorder that affects neural activity in the VIIIth cranial nerve and central auditory pathways. Progressive forms have been reported in a number of neurodegenerative diseases and may occur as a result of both the deafferentiation and [...] Read more.
Background: Auditory neuropathy (AN) is a hearing disorder that affects neural activity in the VIIIth cranial nerve and central auditory pathways. Progressive forms have been reported in a number of neurodegenerative diseases and may occur as a result of both the deafferentiation and desynchronisation of neuronal processes. The purpose of this study was to describe changes in auditory function over time in a patient with axonal neuropathy and to explore the effect of auditory intervention. Methods: We tracked auditory function in a child with progressive AN associated with Charcot–Marie–Tooth (Type 2C) disease, evaluating hearing levels, auditory-evoked potentials, and perceptual abilities over a 3-year period. Furthermore, we explored the effect of auditory intervention on everyday listening and neuroplastic development. Results: While sound detection thresholds remained constant throughout, both electrophysiologic and behavioural evidence suggested auditory neural degeneration over the course of the study. Auditory brainstem response amplitudes were reduced, and perception of auditory timing cues worsened over time. Functional hearing ability (speech perception in noise) also deteriorated through the first 1.5 years of study until the child was fitted with a “remote-microphone” listening device, which subsequently improved binaural processing and restored speech perception ability to normal levels. Conclusions: Despite the deterioration of auditory neural function consistent with peripheral axonopathy, sustained experience with the remote-microphone listening system appeared to produce neuroplastic changes, which improved the patient’s everyday listening ability—even when not wearing the device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Journey of Hearing and Hearing-Related Disorders over Time)
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