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Am J Otolaryngol. 2015 Nov-Dec;36(6):823-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2015.07.011. Epub 2015 Jul 26.

Correlation between the dizziness handicap inventory and balance performance during the acute phase of unilateral vestibulopathy.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. Electronic address:



The dizziness handicap inventory (DHI) is widely used to evaluate self-perceived handicap due to dizziness, and is known to correlate with vestibular function tests in chronic dizziness. However, whether DHI reflects subjective symptoms during the acute phase has not been studied. This study aims to investigate the correlations of subjective and objective measurements to highlight parameters that reflect the severity of dizziness during the first week of acute unilateral vestibulopathy.


Thirty-seven patients with acute unilateral vestibulopathy were examined. Patients' subjective perceptions of dizziness were measured using the DHI, Vertigo Visual Analog Scale (VVAS), Disability Scale (DS), and Activity-Specific Balance Scale (ABC). Additionally, the oculomotor tests, Romberg and sharpened Romberg tests, functional reach test, and dynamic visual acuity tests were performed. The correlation between the DHI and other tests was evaluated.


DHI-total scores exhibited a moderately positive correlation with VVAS and DS, and a moderately negative correlation with ABC. However, DHI-total score did not correlate with results of the Romberg, sharpened Romberg, or functional reach tests. When compared among four groups divided according to DHI scores, VVAS and DS scores exhibited statistically significant differences, but no significant differences were detected for other test results.


Our findings revealed that the DHI correlated significantly with self-perceived symptoms measured by VVAS and DS, but not ABC. There was no significant correlation with other balance function tests during the first week of acute vestibulopathy. The results suggest that DHI, VVAS and DS may be more useful to measure the severity of acute dizziness symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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