PhD Studentship (NIHR NHBRU) Defining Components and Measuring the Effects of Audiologist-delivered Counselling for Tinnitus

Supervisors: Dr Derek Hoare, Prof Deborah Hall, Dr Dawn-Marie Walker

Stipend of £15,000 per annum. All fees paid. Start date is between April and October 2014

Tinnitus affects one in ten of us. For some people, it becomes a chronic and disabling condition. In the absence of a uniformly effective treatment, clinical management often involve interventions to reduce the negative emotional reaction a person has to the sound. Client-centred therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are the main approaches to tinnitus counselling taught as short courses to post-qualification audiologists. CBT is considered particularly relevant as it deals with current problems and the development of strategies to improve daily life with tinnitus. Whereas there is a convincing level of research evidence to suggest that CBT delivered by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is of benefit to people with tinnitus, in terms of audiologist-delivered counselling this represents a proof-of-concept only. Audiologist-delivered counselling has yet to be formally evaluated in any way.

The PhD proposed is a three stage study. Stage 1 will involve defining the components and aims of tinnitus counselling. Stage 2 will involve a theoretical definition of how sensitive existing clinical outcome measures (questionnaires) are to the aims of counselling, before the actual sensitivity of different outcome measures to change after tinnitus counselling is examined in Stage 3.

The successful applicant will join a large and vibrant tinnitus research group and benefit from strong supervisory and peer support.

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You should have or expect to obtain a first class or upper 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent), or an MSc/MA, in psychology, audiology or other relevant scientific discipline. Research experience in psychology or audiology will be of particular advantage. You will have excellent communication and team-working skills, be self-driven and highly motivated. You should also be eligible to apply for relevant research clearances that may be required including a check with the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB checks).

To make an application, please send a covering letter stating clearly how you fulfil the requirements of the studentship, and include a CV, academic transcripts and the names and contact details of two academic referees, to Dr Heather Fortnum, Lead for postgraduate studies, NIHR Nottingham Hearing BRU, Ropewalk House, 113 The Ropewalk, Nottingham, NG1 5DU, or e-mail to

Please quote ref. MED/1234

Closing date: 10th January 2014

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