Do patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo receive prompt treatment? Analysis of waiting times and human and financial costs associated with current practice

Int J Audiol. 2005 Jan;44(1):50-7. doi: 10.1080/14992020400022629.


This study retrospectively analysed how 20 patients with posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) were managed from primary care, to treatment in tertiary care. The average time from first referral to treatment was 93 weeks, with an average of 58 weeks within primary care and 40 weeks within hospital care. At least 85% of cases had classical symptoms of BPPV and could have been easily identified by Primary Care Physicians at first referral, had they been trained to recognise and diagnose the condition. It was concluded that patients could be treated more efficiently and at less cost if the condition was identified at first referral in primary care, and treated in either primary care or dedicated BPPV clinics receiving referrals from primary care. A dedicated clinic for BPPV is recommended, which will substantially reduce waiting time for treatment and save primary care and hospitals time and money by avoiding unnecessary appointments and medication.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data
  • Efficiency
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Financing, Personal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Patient Admission / economics
  • Patient Care Team / economics
  • Quality of Life
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vertigo / economics
  • Vertigo / therapy*
  • Waiting Lists*