Psychiatric comorbidity and personality traits in patients with hyperacusis.

International journal of audiology

PubMedID: 23244506

Jüris L, Andersson G, Larsen HC, Ekselius L. Psychiatric comorbidity and personality traits in patients with hyperacusis. Int J Audiol. 2013;52(4):230-5.
OBJECTIVE
Hyperacusis, defined as unusual intolerance of ordinary environmental sounds, is a common problem. In spite of this, there is limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms. We hypothesized that individuals with hyperacusis would be prone to suffer from psychiatric disorders, related in particular to anxiety. Therefore, psychiatric morbidity and personality traits were investigated, along with different sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.

DESIGN
Patients were assessed with a clinical interview related to symptoms of hyperacusis, the Mini-international neuropsychiatric interview (MINI), and the Swedish Universities scales of Personality (SSP) to study psychiatric disorders and personality traits.

STUDY SAMPLE
A group of 62 Swedish patients with hyperacusis between 18 and 61 years (mean 40.2, SD 12.2) was included.

RESULTS
Altogether 56% of the patients had at least one psychiatric disorder, and 47% had an anxiety disorder. Also, personality traits related to neuroticism were over-represented. A majority, 79%, suffered from comorbid tinnitus, and a similar proportion used measures to avoid noisy environments.

CONCLUSIONS
The over-representation of anxiety disorders and anxiety-related personality traits in patients with hyperacusis suggests common or cooperating mechanisms. Cognitive behavioural treatment strategies, proven efficient in treating anxiety, may be indicated and are suggested for further studies.