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Usefulness of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory in the Screening for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Whitney, Susan L*†‡; Marchetti, Gregory F§; Morris, Laura O

doi: 10.1097/01.mao.0000185066.04834.4e
Vestibular Problems
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Objective: The purpose of the study was to determine whether a newly developed subscale of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) could assist in the screening of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Study Design: Retrospective case review.

Setting: Tertiary balance referral center.

Patients: Charts of 383 patients (mean age, 61 yr) with a variety of vestibular diagnoses (peripheral and central) were reviewed.

Interventions: Patients completed the DHI before the onset of physical therapy intervention.

Main Outcome Measures: A newly developed BPPV subscale developed from current DHI items was computed to determine whether the score could assist the practitioner in identifying individuals with BPPV.

Results: Individuals with BPPV had significantly higher mean scores on the newly developed BPPV subscale of the DHI (p < 0.01). The five-item BPPV score was a significant predictor of the likelihood of having BPPV (χ2 = 8.35; p < 0.01). On the two-item BPPV scale, individuals who had a score of 8 of 8 were 4.3 times more likely to have BPPV compared with individuals who had a score of 0.

Conclusion: Items on the DHI appear to be helpful in determining the likelihood of an individual having the diagnosis of BPPV.

*Departments of Physical Therapy and †Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh, ‡Centers for Rehabilitation Services, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and §Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Susan L. Whitney, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 6035 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, U.S.A.; E-mail: whitney@pitt.edu

Supported in part by NIH grant DC 05384 (S.L.W.).

© 2005 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.