Effectiveness of Vestibular Rehabilitation in Elderly Subjects with Dizziness
Introduction: Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) provides through specific and repetitive exercises the activation of the neural plasticity mechanism of the central nervous system, seeking vestibular compensation.
Objectives: This study aims to analyze the effectiveness of the VR exercises of rehabilitation protocols Cawthorne and Cooksey through scores of Berg balance scale (BBS) and the dizziness handicap inventory (DHI).
Methods: The individuals underwent ENT evaluation, interview, balance evaluation through the BBS and DHI. The exercises of VR taken from the rehabilitation protocols proposed by Cawthorne and Cooksey were performed. After 90 days of performance of the VR, the DHI and the BBS data was remade in order to compare the scores. To compare the means before and after the VR the Student t-test for paired samples was used. To compare gender and age with the changes in variables after the VR the t-Student t-test for independent samples was applied. The adopted significance level was 5% (p < 0.05).
Results: The sample was made up with 36 elderly individuals—20 women (55.6%) and 16 men whose average age was 67.9 years. By comparing pre- and postscores of VR, we observed better scores on DHI and BBS postrehabilitation. The improvement is related to the gender of the elderly (p < 0.001), since women showed more significant improvement in DHI and BBS scores post-VR when compared with the men. However, this improvement in scores is not related to age (p > 0.10).
Conclusion: The significant improvement in DHI and BBS scores post-VR showed that VR is an effective therapeutic procedure for elderly with dizziness.
Keywords: Aged, dizziness, postural balance.