Patient Uptake, Experiences, and Process Evaluation of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Internet-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Tinnitus in the United States

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Frontiers in Medicine


Introduction: An internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) offers a way to increase access to evidence-based tinnitus care. To increase the accessibility of this intervention, the materials were translated into Spanish to reach Spanish as well as English speakers. A clinical trial indicated favorable outcomes of ICBT for tinnitus for the population of the United States. In view of later dissemination, a way to increase the applicability of this intervention is required. Such understanding is best obtained by considering the perspectives and experiences of participants of an intervention. This study aimed to identify the processes that could facilitate or hinder the clinical implementation of ICBT in the United States. Methods: This study evaluated the processes regarding enrolment, allocation, intervention delivery, the outcomes obtained, and the trial implementation. The study sample consisted of 158 participants who were randomly assigned to the experimental and control group. Results: Although the recruitment was sufficient for English speakers, recruiting the Spanish participants and participants belonging to ethnic minority groups was difficult despite using a wide range of recruitment strategies. The allocation processes were effective in successfully randomizing the groups. The intervention was delivered as planned, but not all the participants chose to engage with the materials provided. Compliance for completing the outcome measures was low. The personal and intervention factors were identified as barriers for the implementation whereas the facilitators included the support received, being empowering, the accessibility of the intervention, and its structure. Conclusion: An understanding regarding the factors contributing to the outcomes obtained, the barriers and facilitators of the results, engagement, and compliance were obtained. These insights will be helpful in preparing for the future dissemination of such interventions. Clinical Trial Registration:, identifier: NCT04004260. Registered on 2 July 2019.



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