Effectiveness of Otolith Repositioning Maneuvers and Vestibular Rehabilitation exercises in elderly people with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: a systematic review

Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2017 Jun 29;S1808-8694(17)30102-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bjorl.2017.06.003. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is highly prevalent in elderly people. This condition is related to vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, poor balance, gait disturbance, and an increase in risk of falls, leading to postural changes and quality of life decreasing.

Objective: To evaluate the outcomes obtained by clinical trials on the effectiveness of Otolith Repositioning Maneuver and Vestibular Rehabilitation exercises in the treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo in elderly.

Methods: The literature research was performed using PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and PEDro databases, and included randomized controlled clinical trials in English, Spanish and Portuguese, published during January 2000 to August 2016. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed by PEDro score and the outcomes analysis was done by critical revision of content.

Results: Six studies were fully reviewed. The average age of participants ranged between 67.2 and 74.5 years. The articles were classified from 2 to 7/10 through the PEDro score. The main outcome measures analyzed were vertigo, positional nystagmus and postural balance. Additionally, the number of maneuvers necessary for remission of the symptoms, the quality of life, and the functionality were also assessed. The majority of the clinical trials used Otolith Repositioning Maneuver (n=5) and 3 articles performed Vestibular Rehabilitation exercises in addition to Otolith Repositioning Maneuver or pharmacotherapy. One study showed that the addition of movement restrictions after maneuver did not influence the outcomes.

Conclusion: There was a trend of improvement in Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo symptomatology in elderly patients who underwent Otolith Repositioning Maneuver. There is sparse evidence from methodologically robust clinical trials that examined the effects of Otolith Repositioning Maneuver and Vestibular Rehabilitation exercises for treating Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo in the elderly. Randomized controlled clinical trials with comprehensive assessment of symptoms, quality of life, function and long-term follow up are warranted.

Keywords: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo; Dizziness; Elderly; Idosos; Reabilitação; Rehabilitation; Tontura; Vertigem; Vertigem posicional paroxística benigna; Vertigo.