The frequency and impact of undiagnosed benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in outpatients with high falls risk

Lyndon Hawke, Chris Barr, James McLoughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
The frequency and impact of undiagnosed benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) in people identified with high falls risk has not been investigated.

Objective
To determine the frequency and impact on key psychosocial measures of undiagnosed BPPV in adult community rehabilitation outpatients identified with a high falls risk.

Design
A frequency study with cross-sectional design.

Setting
A Community Rehabilitation Program in Melbourne, Australia.

Subjects
Adult community rehabilitation outpatients with a Falls Risk for Older People in the Community Screen score of four or higher.

Methods
BPPV was assessed in 34 consecutive high falls risk rehabilitation outpatients using the Dix–Hallpike test and supine roll test. Participants were assessed for anxiety, depression, fear of falls, social isolation and loneliness using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Falls Efficacy Scale-International and De Jong Gierveld 6-Item Loneliness Scale.

Results
A total of 18 (53%; 95% confidence interval: 36, 70) participants tested positive for BPPV. There was no significant difference between those who tested positive for BPPV and those who did not for Falls Risk for Older People in the Community Screen scores (P = 0.555), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Anxiety) scores (P = 0.627), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Depression) scores (P = 0.368) or Falls Efficacy Scale-International scores (P = 0.481). Higher scores for the De Jong Gierveld 6-Item Loneliness Scale in participants with BPPV did not reach significance (P = 0.056).

Conclusions
Undiagnosed BPPV is very common and associated with a trend towards increased loneliness in adult rehabilitation outpatients identified as having a high falls risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberafab122
Number of pages6
JournalAge and Ageing
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • falls
  • loneliness
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • older people

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