Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

ISSN 2055-2386
Original Research

Measurement of space and motion discomfort in persons with vestibular disorders

Susan L. Whitney1*, Gergory F. Marchetti2, Rolf G. Jacob3 and Joseph M. Furman4

*Correspondence: Susan L. Whitney

1. Professor- University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Therapy, USA.

Author Affiliations

2. Associate Professor, Duguesne University, Department of Physical Therapy, USA.

3. Professor, Universtiy of Pittsburgh, Department of Psychaitry, USA.

4. Professor, Universtiy of Pittsburgh, Department of Otolaryngology, USA.


Background: The purpose of this paper was to estimate the test-retest agreement and to describe the discriminative validity of measures recorded from the Situational Characteristics Questionnaire-extended (SitQe) for the identification of space and motion discomfort in subjects with balance/vestibular disorders in comparison to healthy control subjects.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted with eighty-nine patients with balance and/or vestibular disorders and 44 control subjects. All patients completed the SitQe at a tertiary care ambulatory out-patient balance and vestibular clinic. Test-retest agreement for individual SitQe items was tested in a subsample of fifteen people with balance/vestibular disorders and 20 control subjects. The SitQe consists of 105 questions. Aχ2 analysis was used to determine if there were differences in response rates indicative of discomfort for patients versus control subjects. Data were made categorical and compared between no symptoms while performing the activity versus mild or worse symptoms during the activity.

Results: Median test-retest agreement at the item level was good to excellent across all related situational categories. Seventy-six out of 105 variables were significantly different between the control subjects and patients with balance and/or vestibular disorders at p<0.01.

Conclusion: Patients with vestibular disorders reported symptoms for many of the daily life activities during which the control group had few, if any, symptoms. These items may provide the clinician with some insight into which activity (ies) might be difficult for a person living with a balance and/or vestibular disorder. Clinicians might want to consider probing more about common activities that can provoke dizziness in order to better target interventions.

Keywords: Dizzines, vestibular, rehabilitation, outcomes, motion sensitivity

ISSN 2055-2386
Volume 5
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