Efficacy of vestibular rehabilitation therapy in reducing falls

  • Macias J
  • Massingale S
  • Gerkin R
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the short-term effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation therapy in reducing fall risk in an at-risk population. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective chart review of 70 patients older than 50 years of age at risk for falls treated at a tertiary vestibular therapy center. Fall risk was assessed by the Berg balance test. RESULTS: Vestibular rehabilitation therapy resulted in a statistically significant improvement in Berg balance test scores (pretherapy, 36.8, to posttherapy, 46.4). Referring diagnosis, age, and gender had no impact on outcome. CONCLUSION: Vestibular rehabilitation therapy significantly reduces the risk of falls in elderly at-risk patients with improvement measured at the termination of therapy. SIGNIFICANCE: Vestibular rehabilitation therapy plays an important preventive role in reducing falls in at-risk elderly patients, with beneficial effects seen at termination of therapy. © 2005 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Authors

  • John D. Macias

  • Shelly Massingale

  • Richard D. Gerkin

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