Tinnitus Functional Index: Development, validation, outcomes research, and clinical application

James A. Henry, Susan Griest, Emily Thielman, Garnett McMillan, Christine Kaelin, Kathleen F. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The Tinnitus Research Consortium (TRC) issued a Request for Proposals in 2003 to develop a new tinnitus outcome measure that would: (1) be highly sensitive to treatment effects (validated for "responsiveness"); (2) address all major dimensions of tinnitus impact; and (3) be validated for scaling the negative impact of tinnitus. A grant was received by M. Meikle to conduct the study. In that observational study, all of the TRC objectives were met, with the final 25-item Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) containing eight subscales. The study was published in 2012, and since then the TFI has received increasing international use and is being translated into at least 14 languages. The present study utilized data from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) that involved testing the efficacy of "telephone tinnitus education" as intervention for bothersome tinnitus. These data were used to confirm results from the original TFI study. Overall, the TFI performed well in the RCT with Cohen's d being 1.23. There were large differences between the eight different subscales, ranging from a mean 13.2-point reduction (for the Auditory subscale) to a mean 26.7-point reduction (for the Relaxation subscale). Comparison of TFI performance was made with the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory. All of the results confirmed sensitivity of the TFI along with its subscales.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled <Tinnitus>.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalHearing Research
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Tinnitus assessment
  • Tinnitus dimensions
  • Tinnitus distress
  • Tinnitus severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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