Aquatic physiotherapy for vestibular rehabilitation in patients with unilateral vestibular hypofunction: Exploratory prospective study

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2008-01-01
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Gabilan, Yeda Pereira Lima [UNIFESP]
Perracini, Monica Rodrigues
Munhoz, Mário Sérgio Lei [UNIFESP]
Ganança, Fernando Freitas [UNIFESP]
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Purpose: To explore the effects of aquatic physiotherapy on individuals with unilateral vestibular hypofunction and examine the association of therapeutic effects with age, time since symptom onset and use of antivertigo medication.Study design: Exploratory study. Setting: Tertiary referral center.Patients: Twenty-one patients presenting chronic dizziness with uncompensated unilateral vestibular loss.Intervention: All patients underwent a regimen of 10 sessions of aquatic physiotherapy for vestibular rehabilitation.Main outcome measures: Patient evaluation prior to and following rehabilitation involved the application of the Brazilian version of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), dynamic computerized posturography and the self-perception scale of dizziness intensity. Statistical analysis compared average variables prior to and following rehabilitation using the Student t test.Results: Brazilian DHI total scores were lower following rehabilitation (p = 0.001). Posturography revealed a reduction in the variation of body displacement following rehabilitation in the average stability and anterior/posterior stability indexes (p = 0.001) and in the average medial/lateral stability index (p = 0.003). Self-perception of dizziness intensity was lower following rehabilitation (p = 0.001). No association between age, time since symptom onset and use of antivertigo medication and rehabilitation therapeutic effects were found.Conclusion: Unilateral vestibular hypofunction patients undergoing aquatic physiotherapy for vestibular rehabilitation achieved an improvement in quality of life, body balance and self-perception of dizziness intensity, regardless of age, time since symptom onset, and use of antivertigo medication.
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Journal Of Vestibular Research-equilibrium & Orientation. Amsterdam: Ios Press, v. 18, n. 2-3, p. 139-146, 2008.
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