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Prevalence of tinnitus and hyperacusis in children and adolescents: a systematic review

Rosing, S.N., Schmidt, J.H., Wedderkopp, N. and Baguley, D.M. (2016) Prevalence of tinnitus and hyperacusis in children and adolescents: a systematic review. BMJ Open, 6 (6). e010596.

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Objectives: To systematically review studies of the epidemiology of tinnitus and hyperacusis in children and young people, in order to determine the methodological differences implicated in the variability of prevalence estimates and the influence of population characteristics on childhood tinnitus and hyperacusis. Data sources: Articles were retrieved from PubMed, EMBASE and Scopus databases and from the relevant reference lists using the methods described in the study protocol, which has previously been published. Reporting Items for Systematic Review (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. Eligibility criteria: Studies addressing childhood prevalence, for example, children and young people aged 5-19 years. Data selection: 2 reviewers independently assessed the studies for eligibility, extracted data and assessed study consistency. Owing to the heterogeneity in the methodologies among the reported studies, only narrative synthesis of the results was carried out. Results: Having identified 1032 publications, 131 articles were selected and 25 articles met the inclusion criteria and had sufficient methodological consistency to be included. Prevalence estimates of tinnitus range from 4.7% to 46% in the general paediatric population and among children with normal hearing, and from 23.5% to 62.2% of population of children with hearing loss. Reported prevalence ranged from 6% to 41.9% when children with hearing loss and normal hearing were both included. The prevalence of hyperacusis varied from 3.2% to 17.1%. Conclusions: Data on prevalence vary considerably according to the study design, study population and the research question posed. The age range of children studied was varied and a marked degree of variation between definitions (tinnitus, hyperacusis) and measures (severity, perception, annoyance) was observed. The lack of consistency among studies indicates the necessity of examining the epidemiology of tinnitus and hyperacusis in children and adolescents with a set of standardised criteria.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
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