INTRODUCTION: There is some debate as to what extent epidemiological data for the prevalence of childhood tinnitus can be relied on. While indications are that the prevalence is relatively high, referral numbers for children with tinnitus are reported to be low and many of the studies have a number of methodological difficulties. We describe the protocol of a systematic review aimed at assessing the prevalence of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis in children and young people.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will include studies of any design (except case reports or case series) comparing the prevalence of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis in children and young people with and without hearing loss, any known external exposure and psychological disorders. We will search the following databases: PubMed, EMBASE and Scopus. No restrictions of language will be applied in the search strategy but during the article selection language is limited to English, German and Scandinavian languages. Primary and additional outcomes will be the prevalence of tinnitus/hyperacusis and the severity, respectively.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical issues are foreseen. The results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at national and international conferences of audiology and paediatrics.
TRAIL REGISTRATION NUMBER: This review protocol is registered in the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, registration number CRD42014013456.