Relationship between dynamic balance and self-reported handicap in patients who have unilateral peripheral vestibular loss

Otol Neurotol. 2007 Oct;28(7):905-10.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) score is related to postural performance as assessed by dynamic posturography.

Study design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Outpatient in a tertiary referral center.

Patients: Ninety-two complete unilateral vestibular loss patients, categorized into 3 groups according to the postlesion stage: 1 to 2 months (n = 32; age, 47.6 +/- 10.7 yr), 4 to 7 months (n= 23; 47.1 +/- 8.37 yr), and 1 year and older (n = 37; 49.2 +/- 9.5 yr).

Main outcome measures: Dizziness Handicap Inventory and dynamic balance measured with a seesaw platform moving either in the anterior-posterior or in the mediolateral direction.

Results: The mean DHI score was 25.8 +/- 18.7 and the range was 0 to 68. Dizziness Handicap Inventory scores did not differ significantly between the different unilateral vestibular loss groups studied. No difference was detected between the groups for the 3 subscores (emotional, functional, and physical), except that the older-than-1-year group had a significantly higher physical score than the 2 others. No correlation was found between DHI scores and postural indicators for either direction of the platform. However, patients unable to maintain balance when the seesaw platform moved in the mediolateral direction had significantly higher DHI scores than those who did not fall.

Conclusion: Even if they are not directly related, we suggest that DHI and dynamic posturography are complementary approaches for appreciating the vestibular compensation process and are thus useful for postoperative counseling for vestibular loss patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Dizziness / diagnosis
  • Dizziness / physiopathology*
  • Dizziness / psychology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Concept
  • Vestibular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vestibular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Vestibular Diseases / psychology
  • Vestibular Function Tests*