Vestibular rehabilitation has positive effects on balance, fatigue and activities of daily living in highly disabled multiple sclerosis people: A preliminary randomized controlled trial

Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2018;36(6):709-718. doi: 10.3233/RNN-180850.


Background: Balance disorders are present in patients with Multiple Sclerosis and part of these disorders could be of vestibular origin. Vestibular Rehabilitation was found to be effective in improving balance in patients with central vestibular dysfunction.

Objective: To investigate the clinical effects of vestibular rehabilitation on balance skills and secondly on fatigue and activity of daily living in highly disabled multiple sclerosis people.

Methods: Thirty hospitalized participants with severe multiple sclerosis (EDSS 6-7) were randomly assigned to the experimental group (15 patients -9F-; mean age 50.64±11.73) and the control group (15 patients -8F-; mean age 45.77±10.91). All patients were evaluated before and after treatment with the Expanded Disability Status Scale, Barthel Index Tinetti Balance and Gait scale, Berg Balance Scale, Fatigue Severity Scale, Two Minute Walking Test and Timed 25-foot walk test. Two follow-ups (i.e., at 30 and 60 days after treatment) were carried out with Barthel Index.

Results: Significant improvement was found in the experimental group with respect to the control group (p < 0,05) in balance, fatigue perception, activities of daily living and short distance gait. No significant improvements were found for gait endurance as measured by Two Minute Walking Test.

Conclusions: Four weeks of Vestibular Rehabilitation training results in less fatigue, improved balance and performance of the activities of daily living in patients with severe Multiple Sclerosis.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; activities of daily living; balance; fatigue; gait; rehabilitation; vestibular rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation*
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Sensation Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome