The DHI is widely used to assess the self-perceived emotional, functional and physical disability in subjects with dizziness and balance problems. By studying the data of 568 patients retrospectively, the authors sought to determine the gender and age differences in DHI, whether DHI scores differ with the type (acute, episodic and chronic), time course and symptoms outcome of various vestibular syndromes. There were 359 women between ages 12 and 90 years and 209 men aged from 14 to 80 years. The results were based on the DHI scores at one clinic visit. The total DHI scored that 38.7%, 41.4% and 19.9% of subjects had mild, moderate and severe disability respectively. The total score and the sub-scale scores were significantly lower in men than in women. The longer the duration of the illness (greater than three months), the higher the total and the emotional subscale DHI. That is, the self-perceived disability was higher in those with longstanding illness. This is hardly surprising. There were no statistically significant differences between total DHI scores vs age and the type of vestibular syndrome. It should come as no surprise that the DHI scores in subjects with recurrent and continuous symptoms were higher than those with fewer episodes. The authors found that whereas the disability effect in new-onset symptoms is primarily caused by emotional factors, in longstanding pathology, the effect appeared to be functional and physical. In my view the findings confirm current knowledge.

Outcome evaluation of the dizziness handicap inventory in an outpatient vestibular clinic.
Vanspauwen R, Knoop A, Camp S, et al.
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Victor Osei-Lah

Bournemouth, UK.

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