A task for assessing vertigo elicited by repetitive head movements

Am J Occup Ther. 1998 Sep;52(8):644-9. doi: 10.5014/ajot.52.8.644.


Objective: We developed a simple, inexpensive test for assessing vertigo in persons with peripheral vestibular disorders.

Method: The test was administered to 16 asymptomatic adults and 16 patients with chronic vertigo caused by peripheral vestibular disorders. Participants sat in a chair and as rapidly as possible transferred 25 beanbags one at a time from a basket placed on the floor to a basket held .91 m up in the air. The task was timed, and the participants rated the level of vertigo elicited on a 10-point scale.

Results: Patients took significantly more time to perform the task and reported significantly greater levels of vertigo than did the asymptomatic adults. Test scores did not differ significantly across test sessions or raters.

Conclusion: Performance on this task reliably differentiated patients with vestibular disorders from asymptomatic adults. The test is inexpensive, takes less than 1 min to perform, and has minimal technical requirements, making it suitable for a variety of facilities and levels of staff expertise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Skills / classification*
  • Movement
  • Vertigo / classification*
  • Vestibular Diseases / complications
  • Vestibular Diseases / diagnosis*