Acceptability of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Tinnitus: A Study With Veterans and Nonveterans

Chavez R. Rodriguez, Jay F. Piccirillo, Thomas L. Rodebaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a gold standard yet underuti-lized treatment for tinnitus, and tinnitus is especially highly prevalent among veterans. The aims of this study were twofold: to determine (a) if CBT for tinnitus is underutilized because participants find it less acceptable than other behavioral treatments for tinnitus and (b) if veterans and nonveterans rate behavioral treatments for tinnitus differently. Method: This cross-sectional study was conducted online with a sample of 277 adults in the United States who self-reported at least some level of bothersome tinnitus in the past week. The sample for this study consisted of 129 veterans and 148 nonveterans. Participants read descriptions of CBT, tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). For each treatment, presented to them in random order, they provided credibility, expectancy, and acceptability ratings. Results: Among 277 participants, 147 (53.07%) reporting gender were women, 216 (77.98%) reporting race/ethnicity were White, and 129 (46.57%) were veterans of any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Veteran ratings of credibility, expectancy, and acceptability were significantly lower than nonveteran ratings across treatments. There were differences in credibility, expectancy, and acceptability ratings across treatments, and post hoc testing revealed that TRT was consistently rated higher than CBT or MBSR. Conclusions: Despite strong research support, CBT was rated as less acceptable than a different, less widely empirically supported treatment. Veterans’ ratings of acceptability were lower than those of nonveterans across all treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-603
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Audiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023


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