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Objective: To determine the longitudinal relationship between beliefs about the consequences of dizziness and handicap levels in dizzy patients, and the effect of therapy on beliefs. Methods: Symptoms, beliefs, and handicap were assessed at baseline and 6 months follow up in 76 primary care patients complaining of dizziness or vertigo, of whom 33 were assigned to treatment (i.e., vestibular rehabilitation). Results: At baseline most patients believed that dizziness would have negative consequences such as falling, fainting, or losing control. Handicap levels at follow-up were predicted by baseline beliefs that dizziness would have negative consequences. Significant reduction in negative beliefs at follow-up was observed in the patients who received treatment, whereas there was no reduction in negative beliefs in the untreated patients. Conclusions: Negative beliefs about the consequences of dizziness sustain long-term restriction of activity, and can be modified by therapy. © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

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Journal article


Journal of Psychosomatic Research

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