Purpose: The selection and design of control conditions are critical factors in minimizing the influence of unwanted variables in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This article describes the rationale, design, and content of a standard of care control condition in a Phase III RCT of tinnitus retraining therapy. Method: Existing tinnitus practices at military hospitals were identified and aligned with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (2006) preferred practice patterns for tinnitus management and counseling and embedded in a patient-centered protocol to ensure uniformity and treatment fidelity. Results: For those involved in the design of behavioral RCTs, the article identifies options and methods to consider in the selection and design of control conditions. Conclusion: For those who provide tinnitus services, the standard of care protocol developed for the tinnitus retraining therapy trial constitutes a patient-centered approach to intervention that can be implemented clinically.
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