Effect of vestibular rehabilitation on dizziness in the elderly

Am J Otolaryngol. Sep-Oct 2009;30(5):295-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2008.06.013. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

Abstract

Objectives: Dizziness in the elderly is relatively common, but only a few studies are available. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of vestibular rehabilitation on dizziness in elderly patients.

Materials and methods: A total of 240 patients older than 70 years with dizziness who visited the dizziness center of a tertiary care university hospital from January 2000 to January 2004 were studied. The patients' charts were retrospectively reviewed. Thorough otolaryngologic and neurotologic evaluations and vestibular function testing were performed in every case to determine the specific causes of dizziness. General vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) was performed in 103 cases (VRT group) and it was not done on the other 46 cases (non-VRT group). The intensity of dizziness and disequilibrium was evaluated by the verbal analogue scale and Activities-specific Balance Confidence questionnaires that were obtained at 3 weeks and at 3 months after the initiation of general VRT.

Results: The average age of the patients was 76.5 +/- 6.2 years. In 153 cases (63%), no specific causes for dizziness were found, which was attributed to presbyastasis. Improvement in dizziness in the VRT group was significantly higher than in the non-VRT group by the verbal analogue scale and Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale obtained at 3 weeks and at 3 months after the initiation of VRT.

Conclusion: In the majority of elderly patients with dizziness, the etiology of dizziness is not found and is attributed to presbyastasis. General VRT seems to be an effective treatment for this elderly group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Dizziness / physiopathology
  • Dizziness / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vestibular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Vestibular Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Vestibular Function Tests / adverse effects