Application of vestibular rehabilitation with an introduction session in patients with chronic dizziness

Fumiyuki Goto, Motohiro Arai, Kaoru Ogawa

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Pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches are the treatment options for dizzy patients. Vestibular exercises are a potential treatment option for intractable dizzy patients who do not respond to conventional drug therapy. The retention rate of exercises is quite important for a successful outcome. We organized vestibular exercise courses to improve the retention rate in the outpatient groups; these courses comprised introduction sessions with a clinical psychologist and rehabilitation sessions with a clinical technologist. It is unclear whether the effects of vestibular rehabilitation are based on the improvement of the psychological parameters of vestibular function. Therefore, we evaluated the functional mechanism of vestibular rehabilitation by using questionnaires and balance function tests. Our study comprised 16 patients with chronic dizziness. The patients performing the self-administered home-based vestibular exercise courses were supervised in small groups. The patients were taught that the exercises were to be performed 4 times a day at their respective homes. The symptoms of dizziness were evaluated using the Japanese version of the dizziness handicap inventory (DHI). Anxiety and depression levels were assessed using a set of psychological questionnaires. The static and dynamic balance function was assessed using static posturography and foam posturography and by measuring the time required for performing a certain series of eye-head movement protocols at the initial visit, before rehabilitation, and 2 and 3 months after rehabilitation. Of 16 patients, 15 could successfully complete the study (93.8%). The DHI score significantly improved 1 month after the rehabilitation, whereas anxiety and depression levels did not improve. The results of static and foam posturography as well as the time required for the eye-head movements also significantly improved. The improvement in the DHI scores was not associated with psychological changes, but with the improvement in the static and dynamic balance function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1016-1023
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology of Japan
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept


  • Cognitive therapy
  • Posturography
  • Vestibular rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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