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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006 Jan;87(1):76-81.

Physical therapy for central vestibular dysfunction.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine if vestibular physical therapy (PT) leads to improved functional outcomes in people with central vestibular dysfunction.

DESIGN:

Retrospective case series.

SETTING:

Outpatient PT clinic.

PARTICIPANTS:

Forty-eight patients with central vestibular dysfunction met the criteria for inclusion in this retrospective chart review. The 48 patients were divided into various subgroups including central vestibulopathy, cerebellar dysfunction, stroke, mixed central and peripheral vestibulopathy, and posttraumatic central disorders.

INTERVENTION:

Patients were treated with a custom-designed PT program for a mean of 5 visits over an average of 5 months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Patients completed the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale, the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), the Dynamic Gait Index, the Timed Up & Go test, and the Five Times Sit-to-Stand (FTSTS) Test.

RESULTS:

Significant differences were demonstrated between initial evaluation and discharge in each of the assessment measures for the entire group. Post hoc tests were performed to determine if there was a significant difference in any of the assessment measures by diagnosis. Central vestibular diagnostic subgroup was shown to affect pre- to postintervention differences in the functional and disability measures (P< or =.05). With the exception of the FTSTS, effect sizes of change due to PT intervention were greater in those persons with severe disability at baseline as determined by a DHI score of more than 60.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with central vestibular dysfunctions improved in both subjective and objective measures of balance after PT intervention. Persons with cerebellar dysfunction improved the least.

PMID:
16401442
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2005.08.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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