Feasibility and effectiveness of providing vestibular rehabilitation for dizzy patients in the community
Yardley L., Burgneay J., Andersson G., Owen N., Nazareth I., Luxon L.
Since the majority of people with dizziness in the community are never referred for specialist testing and treatment, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether it was desirable and feasible to provide vestibular rehabilitation for this patient population. Demand for therapy was assessed by a survey of 9198 working age people randomly sampled from six general practices. One in 10 respondents reported current, handicapping dizziness, but fewer than 2% of those with dizziness severe enough to merit treatment proved suitable and willing to attend hospital for testing and rehabilitation. Nevertheless, vestibular rehabilitation was clearly beneficial for the 16 patients who completed the therapy programme, as their scores on measures of symptoms, disability, handicap and postural stability improved significantly post-therapy to near-normal levels. We conclude that there is a need for provision of vestibular rehabilitation in primary care for patients with dizziness in the community.