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OBJECTIVE: This study examined the effectiveness of booklet-based education in vestibular rehabilitation (VR) and symptom control (SC) techniques to manage vertigo and dizziness in Ménière disease. METHODS: Participants (n = 360) were randomized to a waiting list control group or to receive either a VR or an SC self-management booklet. VR involved provoking dizziness in a controlled manner by making repeated head movements in order to promote neurological and psychological habituation. SC involved using applied relaxation, challenging negative beliefs, and lifestyle modification to reduce amplification of dizziness by anxiety. Subjective improvement in health, enablement (ability to understand and cope with symptoms), and adherence were measured at 3 and 6 months. Symptoms, handicap, anxiety and depression, and negative beliefs about symptoms were assessed pretreatment and at 3 and 6 months. RESULTS: At 6-month follow-up, 45 (37.5%) of the VR group and 47 (39.2%) of the SC group reported improvement compared with 19 (15.8%) controls; the relative probability of improvement compared with controls was 2.37 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48-3.80) for VR and 2.47 (95% CI, 1.55-3.95) for SC. Both intervention groups reported greater enablement than controls (p < .001, d > 0.70). At 3 months, the VR group had reduced symptoms, anxiety, handicap, and negative beliefs about dizziness; the SC group had reduced handicap; but the control group showed no improvement. Reported adherence levels were low and strongly related to outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Self-management booklets offer an inexpensive and easily disseminated means of helping people with Ménière disease to cope with dizziness symptoms. Copyright © 2006 by the American Psychosomatic Society.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychosomatic medicine

Publication Date





762 - 769