How people with tinnitus-related insomnia experience group CBT-for-insomnia (CBTi): A thematic analysis

Lavinia Cramer, Florian Vogt, Laurence McKenna, Elizabeth Marks

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Objective: Although insomnia often compounds tinnitus, sleeping problems in people experiencing tinnitus are rarely treated. This study investigates the experiences of participants receiving Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for insomnia (CBTi) as part of a randomised controlled trial for managing tinnitus-related insomnia. The aim of this study is to gain detailed insight into participants’ perceptions and experiences of this treatment. Design: Semi-structured interviews were conducted via phone or in-person by one of the two clinical psychologists who facilitated the CBTi sessions. Reflexive thematic analysis with semantic inductive approach was used for analysis to keep the research question theoretically flexible. Study samples: Eight participants (three females, age range 32–69 years) were interviewed six months after CBTi completion. Results: Three superordinate themes were identified: “Common humanity and transcending individual distress,” “Changing the things I can” and “Accepting the things I cannot change.” The group environment helped participants to normalise their experiences. Reliable tinnitus/sleep information and robust behavioural change techniques helped participants to respond and relate to their condition differently. Conclusion: Generally, participants reported long-term benefits from CBTi to treat tinnitus-related insomnia, particularly increased confidence, and getting on with life. CBTi is multi-component, so clinicians need to respond to individual preferences and lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Early online date16 Jan 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jan 2023


  • CBTi
  • Tinnitus
  • acceptance
  • insomnia
  • thematic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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