Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Geriatr Soc. 1994 Aug;42(8):847-52.

Psychological factors associated with chronic dizziness in patients aged 60 and older.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27514-7595.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify the prevalence and character of psychological disorders accompanying chronic dizziness in older patients.

DESIGN:

Case series of patients from a geriatric dizziness clinic, with comparison data from age- and sex-matched healthy community controls. Both cases and controls received screening psychological testing; all cases were evaluated by a clinical psychologist as part of the dizziness clinic evaluation.

SETTING:

Multidisciplinary Geriatric Dizziness Clinic.

PARTICIPANTS:

Fifty six consecutive patients with chronic dizziness, evaluated by a multidisciplinary Geriatric Dizziness Clinic, and 68 healthy volunteers whose age and sex distribution matched that of the dizziness clinic patients.

MEASUREMENTS:

Standardized questionnaire for medical, functional, and demographic data; the anxiety, depression, somatization, and phobic anxiety subscales of the Symptom/Checklist-90 (SCL-90-R); the Tinetti gait and motor screen; a physical therapy evaluation; selected laboratory tests; evaluation by a geriatrician; and a formal evaluation by a clinical psychologist, including a semistructured interview. Psychological diagnoses were assigned based on DSM-III-R criteria.

MAIN RESULTS:

Of these patients with chronic dizziness, 37.5 percent had a psychological diagnosis causing or contributing to their dizziness problem. Of these, only 3 were felt to have a primary psychological cause of their dizziness, and 18 had secondary psychological diagnoses. Anxiety disorders, depression, and adjustment reactions were the most common diagnoses. On multivariate analysis, factors predicting a psychological diagnosis were a positive response to hyperventilation testing, a high score on the SCL-90 anxiety subscale, and fatigue as a precipitant of dizziness. In addition, dizziness clinic patients scored significantly higher (P < 0.001) on all 4 subscales of the SCL-90 when compared with the healthy elderly, suggesting a greater degree of psychological distress among these elderly with chronic dizziness.

CONCLUSIONS:

Psychological disorders are rare as primary causes but are common as contributing or modulating factors in older persons with dizziness.

PMID:
8046194
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk