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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2014, Article ID 370307, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/370307
Research Article

Tinnitus-Related Distress and the Personality Characteristic Resilience

1Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, ENT-Department, Unit of Phoniatrics and Audiology, Ludolf-Krehl-Straße 13-17, 68167 Mannheim, Germany
2HNO-Kooperation Südwestpfalz, Pfaffplatz 10, 67659 Kaiserslautern, Germany
3Department of Psychology, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Wallstraße 3, 55122 Mainz, Germany
4University Medical Centre Mannheim, ENT-Department, Theodor-Kutzer-Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany

Received 27 February 2014; Revised 13 June 2014; Accepted 20 June 2014; Published 8 July 2014

Academic Editor: Berthold Langguth

Copyright © 2014 Elisabeth Wallhäusser-Franke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

It has been suggested that personality traits may be prognostic for the severity of suffering from tinnitus. Resilience as measured with the Wagnild and Young resilience scale represents a positive personality characteristic that promotes adaptation to adverse life conditions including chronic health conditions. Aim of the study was to explore the relation between resilience and tinnitus severity. In a cross-sectional study with a self-report questionnaire, information on tinnitus-related distress and subjective tinnitus loudness was recorded together with the personality characteristic resilience and emotional health, a measure generated from depression, anxiety, and somatic symptom severity scales. Data from 4705 individuals with tinnitus indicate that tinnitus-related distress and to a lesser extent the experienced loudness of the tinnitus show an inverse correlation with resilience. A mediation analysis revealed that the relationship between resilience and tinnitus-related distress is mediated by emotional health. This indirect effect indicates that high resilience is associated with better emotional health or less depression, anxiety, and somatic symptom severity, which in turn is associated with a less distressing tinnitus. Validity of resilience as a predictor for tinnitus-related distress is supported but needs to be explored further in longitudinal studies including acute tinnitus patients.