The effect of vestibular rehabilitation on balance function and disability of adults with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo of posterior semicircular canals

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Audiology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background and objective: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is known as the most common cause of vertigo. Vestibular rehabilitation is an effective therapeutic option for patients with significant balance problems. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the degree of balance problems caused by BPPV as well as the effect of vestibular rehabilitation exercises on reducing the problems of this group of patients.
Methods: In this clinical trial study, 30 patients with posterior semicircular canal BPPV were studied. All patients underwent vestibular rehabilitation therapy using Epley repositioning maneuver method. The effect of balance problem on their quality of life and handicap before and two months after the intervention was assessed using the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) questionnaire.
Results: The handicap degree of the BPPV patients before therapy was at mild level. The highest and lowest scores were related to physical and emotional dimensions of DHI with values of 13.58 and 6.46, respectively. DHI scores significantly decreased following two months therapy (P <0.001). This highest and lowest improvement was observed in functional (mean change: 13.58) and emotional (mean change: 6.46) dimensions, respectively.
Conclusion: Vestibular rehabilitation is a beneficial approach for adults with unilateral BPPV of posterior semicircular canals. Through early diagnosis and intervention of vestibular disorders, the disability and handicap experienced by BPPV patients will be significantly reduced. Furthermore, the negative effects of this disease on the physical, functional and emotional aspects of patients will be noticeably diminished.


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