Vertiginous Symptoms and Objective Measures of Postural Balance in Elderly People with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo Submitted to the Epley Maneuver

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common and treatable causes of peripheral vestibular vertigo in adults. Its incidence increases with age, eventually leading to disability and a decreased quality of life. The research aims to assess short-term effects of Otolith Repositioning Maneuver (ORM) on dizziness symptoms, quality of life, and postural balance in elderly people with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. A quasi-experimental study, which evaluated 14 elderly people that underwent the Otolith Repositioning Maneuver and reevaluation after one week. The authors performed statistical analysis by descriptive analysis of central tendency and dispersion; for pre- and post-treatment conditions, the authors used the Wilcoxon test. All aspects of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (physical, functional, emotional, and total scores) as well as the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) decreased after therapy (p < 0.05 and p = 0.001, respectively). However, more than half of the elderly participants did not achieve negative Dix-Hallpike. Regarding static and dynamic balance, there were significant differences in some parameters of the modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction and Balance, Limits of Stability and gait assessment measured by the Dizziness Gait Index (p < 0.05).

Results reveal clinical and functional benefits in elderly people with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo submitted to Otolith Repositioning Maneuver. However, most of the participants did not overcome Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and not all aspects of postural balance improved. Therefore, a longer follow-up period and a multidisciplinary team are required to establish comprehensive care for elderly patients with dizziness complaints.

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