Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is a well-established treatment modality for patients with vestibular problems.
Performing vestibular rehabilitation therapy in a closely monitored setting may result in a better outcome than a home exercise programme.
A retrospective study was conducted of patients undergoing vestibular rehabilitation therapy between June 2005 and November 2012 in a tertiary university hospital. The Dynamic Gait Index, the main outcome measure, was utilised before and after the rehabilitation programme. The magnitude of improvement for all patients was analysed, mainly to compare the home exercise group with the closely monitored therapy group.
Only 32 patients underwent the vestibular rehabilitation therapy programme. In all patients, there was significant improvement in the mean Dynamic Gait Index score (from 11.75 to 17.38; p < 0.01). Dynamic Gait Index improvement was significantly higher with closely monitored therapy (mean improvement of 7.83 vs 2.79; p < 0.01).
The small sample size is a major limitation; nevertheless, closely monitored vestibular rehabilitation therapy resulted in improved performance status. More studies are needed to establish the efficiency of vestibular rehabilitation therapy and compare closely monitored therapy with tailored home exercise rehabilitation.