From December 2017 to 29 June 2018, TEP Therapist-Support was made available as a paid-for option to inform a pilot project. It comprises 1 or 2 online one to one appointments using the Zoom video platform and one to one email support. The Outcome Benefits of this pilot are so massive, compared to the course being self-directed (self-help) as it had been since first launched online in 2009, there really was only one way to go!
The Tinnitus E-Programme became therapist-led as standard for Users of the Tinnitus E-Programme from 1 July 2018 so that all TEP Users have the same opportunities and access to therapist contact as those who had this level of support during the pilot project
Comparison between 'TEP Therapist-Support' and 'Self-Directed'
With TEP Therapist-Support
- 100% of Users who made use of TEP Therapist-Support completed all modules PLUS they reduced their THI (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory) tinnitus distress score by up to THREE categories
Without TEP Therapist-Support (Self-Directed)
- Only 3% of TEP registrants working self-directed completed the course
- 92% of self-directed TEP registrants (self-help without TEP Therapist-Support) have not progressed beyond Module 2 of five modules
The above lack of engagement (92%) for self-directed users is in-keeping with similar findings in the published research into efficacy of health-related online self-help strategies, although the percentage is particularly high. A major factor for this is likely to be that 52% of the self-directed users of the TEP score in the severe (56%+) THI category. This makes the Tinnitus E-Programme as a stand-alone online self-directed self-help intervention inappropriate for this group of Users due to high stress levels, anxiety and distress