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Otol Neurotol. 2007 Jan;28(1):87-93.

The dizziness handicap inventory and its relationship with functional balance performance.

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1
Division of Neuro- and Psychomotor Physical Therapy, Department of Health Care Sciences, University College of Antwerp, Merksem, Belgium. l.vereeck@ha.be

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to describe the relation between the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) and balance performance measures.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective case series.

SETTING:

Outpatient balance clinic in a tertiary referral center.

PATIENTS:

Patients referred with dizziness or imbalance of vestibular and nonvestibular origin.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

DHI, Romberg with Jendrassik maneuver, standing on foam, tandem Romberg, single-leg stance, the timed up and go test, the Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), tandem gait, and the 10-m walking test.

RESULTS:

The mean age of participants (n = 214) was 53.9 years. The mean DHI total score was 35.1, ranging from 0 to 96. Spearman rank correlation coefficients (rS) between DHI and the static balance tests were fair and ranged between -0.42 (p < 0.01) for single-leg stance with eyes closed and -0.51 (p < 0.01) for single-leg stance with eyes open. Only the Romberg test with Jendrassik maneuver correlated weakly (rS = -0.25; p < 0.01) with the DHI. Correlations with the walking tests were moderate, the connection with the DGI being the strongest one (rS = -0.69; p < 0.01). Forty-two percent of the variance in DHI scores in our patients was accounted for by the DGI score (r = 0.417).

CONCLUSION:

Functional balance tests involving locomotion correlate better with DHI scores when compared with static balance measures. The DGI explains a large component of handicap in dizzy and unsteady patients, which advocates its use in these patients.

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