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Online tinnitus therapy through Therapieland

e-Health Module

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Therapieland recently started offering the online tinnitus therapy “First Aid Tinnitus – Controlling Tinnitus. The e-Health module provider developed the module with clinical neuropsychologist Olav Wagenaar. Wagenaar is author of the best-selling book First Aid For Tinnitus. Currently, Therapieland is testing the pilot version. General practitioners, primary care providers and psychologists can use the online module through Therapieland’s website. The practice manager or psychologist guides the process.

Psychiatric problems caused by tinnitus

Tinnitus, also known as ‘ringing of their he ears’, is the hearing of a sound in one or both ears or in the middle of the head. It is estimated that some 2 million people in the Netherlands are affected. About 2% sometimes develop severe psychiatric problems as a result of tinnitus. Unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus. Doctors quite often say, “You should just get used to it.” This can lead to feelings of helplessness. Wagenaar commented, “Powerlessness is desperately wanting to do something, but not knowing what. It is a destructive feeling which reinforces tinnitus. The module aims to eliminate this feeling.”

Purpose online tinnitus therapy

The e-Health module is an online DIY behavioral therapy that helps clients gain more control over their tinnitus. Feelings of powerlessness and other negative consequences will decrease as a result. In the beginning, the client learns a lot about tinnitus. In addition, the module aims to prevent psychological symptoms. While following e-Health module, the client goes in search of the cause of the overuse that results in tinnitus. The client also learns to address the negative effects of tinnitus. As he learns what can be done, reassurance ensues. “Tinnitus becomes a syndrome if you don’t understand it. The main culprit is the reaction to it, so the main intervention is education,” said Olav Wagenaar.

e-Health as preventive care

For regular treatment of tinnitus based on cognitive behavioral therapy, there are often waiting lists. Wagenaar who is also author of the best-selling book First Aid For Tinnitus on that, “People with tinnitus are often only eligible for treatment after they have developed psychological problems.” Wagenaar continues: “On the contrary, these mental health problems must be prevented. Starting treatment at the earliest possible stage is crucial for this. Education about tinnitus is the first step in that.”
As such, the developers see the e-Health module as a form of preventive care. With the module “First Aid Tinnitus – Controlling Tinnitus,” disruptive tinnitus can be prevented in the long term.

For primary care practices

To provide this preventive care, Therapieland and Wagenaar developed the e-Health module “First Aid Tinnitus – Controlling Tinnitus. It is intended for primary care practices. Consider family physicians, primary care providers and psychologists. The module is self-help oriented with the primary care physician or psychologist guiding the process. Thus, the client must primarily work on his or her own.
The module consists largely of videos where neuropsychologist Olav Wagenaar explains himself.
The pilot version has been completed and is currently being tested. Healthcare providers licensed with Therapieland can use the module. The program is expected to be ready by the end of May.

Sustainable self-reliance

e-Health modules like the one developed for tinnitus have many benefits for both the client and the healthcare professional. In doing so, the approach combines e-Health with regular care. This is also called “blended care. Clients who use the e-Health module, like healthcare professionals, can access it at any time of day, anywhere. e-Health provides clients with additional information, exercises and, most importantly, clear psychoeducation. This helps them become sustainably self-reliant. Health insurance companies generally reimburse the use of e-Health modules.

General practitioners, primary care providers and psychologists can find more information on