To determine whether demographic characteristics or balance examination findings can predict the adherence of older people with instability to a vestibular rehabilitation programme.
A prospective case–control study was conducted of 120 patients aged 65 years or more (mean age, 77.3 ± 6.33 years). Two groups were classified according to patients’ adherence with the follow-up post-rehabilitation protocol. Analysed variables included: age, sex, body mass index, Timed Up and Go test findings, computerised dynamic posturography, Dizziness Handicap Inventory scores and Short Falls Efficacy Scale – International questionnaire results, number of falls, and type of vestibular rehabilitation.
Two groups were established: adherents (99 individuals) and non-adherents (21 individuals). There were differences between the groups regarding: sex (female-to-male ratio of 4.8:1 in adherents and 1.63:1 in non-adherents), age (higher in non-adherents) and voluntary movement posturographic test results (non-adherents had poorer scores).
The patients most likely to abandon a vestibular rehabilitation programme are very elderly males with low scores for centre of gravity balancing and limits of stability.