Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing as a treatment for tinnitus

John S. Phillips, Sally Erskine, Tal Moore, Ian Nunney, Catherine Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives/Hypothesis: To determine the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as a treatment for tinnitus. Study Design: Single-site prospective interventional clinical trial at a university hospital in the United Kingdom. Methods: Participants were provided with tEMDR. This is a bespoke EMDR protocol that was developed specifically to treat individuals with tinnitus. Participants received a maximum of 10 sessions of tEMDR. Outcome measures including tinnitus questionnaires and mood questionnaires were recorded at baseline, discharge, and at 6 months postdischarge. Results: Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory scores demonstrated a statistically significant improvement at discharge after EMDR intervention (P =.0005 and P =.0098, respectively); this improvement was maintained at 6 months postdischarge. There was also a moderate but not significant (P =.0625) improvement in Beck Anxiety Inventory scores. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated that the provision of tEMDR has resulted in a clinically and statistically significant improvement in tinnitus symptoms in the majority of those participants who took part. Furthermore, the treatment effect was maintained at 6 months after treatment ceased. This study is of particular interest, as the study protocol was designed to be purposefully inclusive of a diverse range of tinnitus patients. However, as a small uncontrolled study, these results do not consider the significant effects of placebo and therapist interaction. Larger high-quality studies are essential for the verification of these preliminary results. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2384-2390
Number of pages7
Issue number10
Early online date28 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
  • neurotology
  • quality of life
  • Tinnitus

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