International survey of vestibular rehabilitation therapists by the Barany Society Ad Hoc Committee on Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

J Vestib Res. 2009;19(1-2):15-20. doi: 10.3233/VES-2009-0339.


The goal of this study was to determine how occupational and physical therapists learn about vestibular rehabilitation therapy, their educational backgrounds, referral patterns, and their ideas about entry-level and advanced continuing education in vestibular rehabilitation therapy. The Barany Society Ad Hoc Committee for Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy invited therapists around the world to complete an E-mail survey. Participants were either known to committee members or other Barany Society members, known to other participants, identified from their self-listings on the Internet, or volunteered after reading notices published in publications read by therapists. Responses were received from 133 therapists in 19 countries. They had a range of educational backgrounds, practice settings, and referral patterns. Few respondents had had any training about vestibular rehabilitation during their professional entry-level education. Most respondents learned about vestibular rehabilitation from continuing education courses, interactions with their colleagues, and reading. All of them endorsed the concept of developing standards and educating therapists about vestibular anatomy and physiology, vestibular diagnostic testing, vestibular disorders and current intervention strategies. Therefore, the Committee recommends the development of international standards for education and practice in vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Internet
  • Occupational Therapy / education*
  • Occupational Therapy / standards
  • Physical Therapy Specialty / education*
  • Physical Therapy Specialty / standards
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Societies, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Vestibular Diseases / rehabilitation*