Internet-based vestibular rehabilitation versus standard care after acute onset vertigo: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Trials. 2022 Jun 16;23(1):496. doi: 10.1186/s13063-022-06460-0.


Background: Dizziness and vertigo affect around 15% of adults annually and represent common reasons for contacting health services, accounting for around 3% of all emergency department visits worldwide. Vertigo is also associated with excessive use of diagnostic imaging and emergency care and decreased productivity, primarily because of work absenteeism. Vestibular rehabilitation is an evidence-based treatment for chronic dizziness and supervised group exercise therapy has recently been shown to be effective after vestibular neuritis, a common cause of acute onset vertigo. However, such interventions are not readily available and there is a need for more easily accessible tools. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects on vestibular symptoms of a 6-week online vestibular rehabilitation tool after acute onset vertigo, with the aim of aiding vestibular rehabilitation by presenting a more accessible tool that can help to reduce recovery time.

Methods: Three hundred twenty individuals diagnosed with acute vestibular syndrome (AVS) will be recruited from multiple hospitals in Sweden and the effects of an online vestibular rehabilitation tool, YrselTräning, on vestibular symptoms after acute onset vertigo will be compared to standard care (written instructions leaflet) in a two-armed, evaluator-blinded, multicenter randomized controlled trial. The primary outcome will be the Vertigo Symptom Scale Short Form (VSS-SF) score at 6 weeks after symptom onset. Secondary outcomes include effects of the intervention on activities of daily living, mood and anxiety, vestibular function recovery, mobility measures, health economic effects, and the reliability of the Swedish VSS-SF translation.

Discussion: Participants using the online vestibular rehabilitation tool are expected to recover earlier and to a greater extent from their symptoms as compared to standard care. Since up to 50% of people with AVS without treatment develop persistent symptoms, effective treatment of AVS will likely lead to a higher quality of life and help reduce the societal costs associated with dizziness and vertigo.

Trial registration: NCT05056324 . Registered on September 24, 2021.

Keywords: AVS; Acute onset vertigo; Gait function; Internet-based rehabilitation; Multicenter; Online tool; Portable motion sensors; RCT; Randomized controlled trial; Vestibular rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Dizziness* / diagnosis
  • Dizziness* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Quality of Life*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Vertigo / diagnosis
  • Vertigo / therapy

Associated data