Vestibular rehabilitation with graded occupations

Am J Occup Ther. 1995 Apr;49(4):362-7. doi: 10.5014/ajot.49.4.362.


These three case reports are examples of the use of graded, purposeful activities in remediating the symptoms of vestibular disorders. Therapists can design individualized treatment plans for each patient by incorporating activities of interest to the patient. The treatment activities must include the particular head movements and positions that elicit vertigo during assessment. Additionally, activities must be interesting to the individual patient. Use of interesting activities may sustain the patient's interest and motivation for the treatment program and enable the patient to relate the learning process to real life experience. The principle that graded, repetitive head movement exercise is efficacious in reducing vertigo and disequilibrium in patients with vestibular disorders is now well accepted among physicians and therapists who treat these patients. The principle of adding meaning or purpose to otherwise rote exercise is well accepted among occupational therapists and is supported by evidence from the empirical literature (Heck, 1988; Kircher, 1984; Yoder, Nelson, & Smith, 1989). This concept of adding purpose to repetitive exercise may now be extended to the treatment of patients with peripheral vestibular disorders.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meniere Disease / diagnosis
  • Meniere Disease / etiology
  • Meniere Disease / rehabilitation
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Vestibular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Vestibular Diseases / etiology
  • Vestibular Diseases / rehabilitation*