The 2014 release of the tinnitus clinical practice guideline by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) changed the way Minka Schofield, MD, treated patients with tinnitus.
Explore this issue:May 2018
“Before this guideline, vitamins, steroids, and melatonin were all being used in an effort to help patients with tinnitus. We’d actually done our own study that showed maybe 50% of the people who take melatonin do get better, so we were recommending melatonin as an option. Then the guideline came out and stated there’s no significant evidence for any of these interventions,” said Dr. Schofield, an otolaryngologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “I stopped giving melatonin once the guideline came out.”
Clinical practice guidelines are intended to influence practice. They synthesize the best available scientific evidence, making it easier for clinicians to stay up to date on the latest evidence-based practices. But some clinicians think that clinical guidelines are overly prescriptive and overlook the art of medicine.