Usefulness of the dizziness handicap inventory in the screening for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Otol Neurotol. 2005 Sep;26(5):1027-33. doi: 10.1097/01.mao.0000185066.04834.4e.


Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine whether a newly developed subscale of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) could assist in the screening of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Study design: Retrospective case review.

Setting: Tertiary balance referral center.

Patients: Charts of 383 patients (mean age, 61 yr) with a variety of vestibular diagnoses (peripheral and central) were reviewed.

Interventions: Patients completed the DHI before the onset of physical therapy intervention.

Main outcome measures: A newly developed BPPV subscale developed from current DHI items was computed to determine whether the score could assist the practitioner in identifying individuals with BPPV.

Results: Individuals with BPPV had significantly higher mean scores on the newly developed BPPV subscale of the DHI (p < 0.01). The five-item BPPV score was a significant predictor of the likelihood of having BPPV (chi2 = 8.35; p < 0.01). On the two-item BPPV scale, individuals who had a score of 8 of 8 were 4.3 times more likely to have BPPV compared with individuals who had a score of 0.

Conclusion: Items on the DHI appear to be helpful in determining the likelihood of an individual having the diagnosis of BPPV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vertigo / diagnosis*
  • Vestibular Function Tests