Tinnitus Guidelines and Their Evidence Base

Journal of clinical medicine

J Clin Med. 2023 Apr 24;12(9):3087. doi: 10.3390/jcm12093087.


Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is generally accepted as the gold standard for high-quality medicine and, thus, for managing patients with tinnitus. EBM integrates the best available scientific information with clinical experience and patient values to guide decision-making about clinical management. To help health care providers and clinicians, the available evidence is commonly translated into medical or clinical guidelines based on a consensus. These involve a systematic review of the literature and meta-analytic aggregation of research findings followed by the formulation of clinical recommendations. However, this approach also has limitations, which include a lack of consideration of individual patient characteristics, the susceptibility of guideline recommendations to material and immaterial conflicts of interest of guideline authors and long latencies till new knowledge is implemented in guidelines. A further important aspect in interpreting the existing literature is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. These circumstances could result in the decoupling of recommendations and their supporting evidence, which becomes evident when guidelines from different countries differ in their recommendations. This opinion paper will discuss how these weaknesses can be addressed in tinnitus.

PMID:37176527 | PMC:PMC10178961 | DOI:10.3390/jcm12093087