Conclusions: We found a difference in gender distribution in a population of phobic postural vertigo patients compared with dizzy patients seen in general neuro-otological practice. It appears as if women with phobic postural vertigo suffer more and are more handicapped by dizziness than both men with phobic postural vertigo and a population with dizziness. These differences may reflect other causes of phobic postural vertigo besides anxiety, such as gender-related coping behaviour and postural strategy.
Objective: Anxiety influences the degree of suffering and handicap in dizzy patients. Experiences of anxiety and handicap were investigated among a population with phobic postural vertigo.
Material and methods: Using the Dizziness Handicap Inventory, the Vertigo Symptom Scale and the Vertigo Handicap Questionnaire, 34 consecutive patients with phobic postural vertigo were compared with a population of 95 consecutive patients seen at a balance disorder clinic.
Results: Patients with phobic postural vertigo scored higher than the control subjects with respect to all parameters with the exception of the physical subscale of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory. Because there were significantly more women in the control group we performed a gender-specific analysis of the results. The higher test scores among patients with phobic postural vertigo can be explained by the higher scores among women in this group, while the test results for men were more similar to those of the control group.