Effects of vestibular rehabilitation therapy on emotional aspects in chronic vestibular patients

J Psychosom Res. 2007 Aug;63(2):185-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2007.02.007.


Objective: A strong relationship exists between vestibular dysfunction and anxiety disorders. The aim of this study was to assess the anxiety and depression levels in patients with chronic dizziness and to assess the effects of vestibular rehabilitation (VR) therapy, on the anxiety and depression levels, without a behavioural or pharmacological therapy.

Method: Two groups of 40 patients, each affected by chronic vestibular deficit, were studied. The first one underwent VR, and the latter did not. The psychometric tests used were the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).

Results: Psychological factors influence the level of handicap experienced by chronic dizziness patients, and disequilibrium influences the anxiety and depression levels. STAI and CES-D scales significantly decrease after VR therapy (P<.001) and remain stable at follow-up.

Conclusions: The VR therapy positively influences the emotional condition of chronic vestibular deficit patients without pharmacological or psychotherapy treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Dizziness / diagnosis
  • Dizziness / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vestibular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Vestibular Diseases / psychology*
  • Vestibular Diseases / rehabilitation*