The prevalence and characteristics of misophonia in Ankara, Turkey: population-based study


BJPSYCH OPEN, vol.7, no.5, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1192/bjo.2021.978
  • Journal Name: BJPSYCH OPEN
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus, EMBASE, Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Misophonia, decreased sound tolerance, tinnitus, epidemiology, hyperacusis


Background Misophonia is defined as significant distress (anger, distress or disgust) when exposed to certain sounds that would not affect most people, such as lip smacking or gum chewing. Although misophonia is common, the aetiology, prevalence and effective treatments are largely unknown. Aims Based on our proposed diagnostic criteria, we examined the prevalence of misophonia and its relationship with clinical and demographic variables in a large representative population sample. Method We used a household sample (N = 541) of all residents aged >15 years, living in 300 homes randomly selected in Ankara city centre, Turkey. All participants were assessed at their homes by trained interviewers, for sociodemographic variables, misophonic sounds and related factors, using a semi-structured interview (the Misophonia Interview Schedule) developed for the current research. Results The current misophonia diagnosis prevalence was 12.8% (n = 69 of 541), although 427 (78.9%) participants reported at least one sound that was distressing. The mean number of misophonic sounds was 8.6 (s.d. 8.9, range 0-44); the figure was 17.6 in those with misophonia compared with 7.3 in those without misophonia. Of those with misophonia, only 5.8% contacted services for their condition. Predictors of misophonia diagnosis included younger age, family history of misophonia and previous contact with mental health services. Conclusions Our study showed that misophonia is common in the general population, may cause significant disruption in daily life and is undertreated. Although more evidence is needed to classify misophonia as a psychiatric disorder, our findings support others who claim that the condition belongs to the group of mental disorders.