Dizziness Handicap Inventory Score Is Highly Correlated With Markers of Gait Disturbance

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Objective:To evaluate the association between Dizziness Handicap Inventory—Screening version (DHI-S) score and spatiotemporal gait parameters using SoleSound, a newly developed, inexpensive, portable footwear-based gait analysis system.Study Design:Cross-sectional.Patients:One hundred eighteen patients recruited from otology clinic.Intervention(s):Subjects completed the DHI-S survey and four uninterrupted walking laps wearing SoleSound instrumented footwear on a hard, flat surface for 100 m.Main Outcome Measure(s):For each subject, mean and coefficient of variation (CV) of stride length, cadence, walking speed, foot-ground clearance, double-support time, swing period, and stance-to-swing were computed by considering 40 strides of steady-state walking within each lap. Linear regression models were employed to study correlations between these variables and DHI-S scores after adjusting for age, sex, and race/ethnicity.Results:Patients with higher DHI-S score took shorter steps and less steps per minute (−0.017 m and −1.1 steps/min per every four-point increase in DHI-S score, p < 0.05) than patients with a lower DHI-S score, with slower walking speed (−0.025 m/s per every four-point increase in DHI-S score, p < 0.01). Additionally, patients with higher DHI-S scores showed larger variability in all analyzed temporal parameters (+0.1% for CV of cadence, +0.5% for CV of double support period, +0.2% for CV of swing period, and +0.4% for CV of stance-to-swing, per every four-point increase in DHI-S score, p < 0.01).Conclusion:SoleSound was effective in measuring a wide range of gait parameters. Patients’ self-perception of vestibular handicap, as assessed with DHI-S, is associated with deterioration in measurable gait parameters independent of age.

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