Potential effects of multimodal psychosomatic inpatient treatment for patients with functional vertigo and dizziness symptoms – A pilot trial

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Abstract

Objectives:

Functional vertigo and dizziness (VD) are frequent and severely distressing complaints that are often described as hard to treat. Our aim was to provide preliminary data on potential effects of multimodal psychosomatic inpatient therapy for patients with functional VD symptoms in reducing vertigo-related handicap and related psychopathology, and to evaluate the role of symptom burden and body-related locus of control in predicting vertigo-related handicap at follow-up.

Design:

We conducted an uncontrolled clinical pilot trial.

Methods:

We included data of n = 72 inpatients with functional VD as a primary symptom and various psychopathological and/or physical comorbidities admitted for multimodal psychosomatic inpatient treatment. Patients completed self-report questionnaires assessing vertigo-related handicap (VHQ), somatization (PHQ-15), depression (BDI-II), anxiety (BAI), health-related quality of life (HRQOL; SF-36), and body-related locus of control (KLC) at admission (T0), discharge (T1), and 6 months after discharge (T2).

Results:

We observed medium effects for the change of vertigo-related handicap (T0–T1: g = −0.60, T0–T2: g = −0.67) and small effects for the change of somatization (T0–T1: g = −0.29, T0–T2: g = −0.24), mental HRQOL (T0–T1: g = 0.43, T0–T2: g = 0.49), and depression (T0–T1: g = −0.41, T0–T2: g = −0.28) from admission to discharge and admission to follow-up. Body-related locus of control did not predict vertigo-related handicap at follow-up.

Conclusions:

Findings provide preliminary evidence for the beneficial role of psychosomatic inpatient treatment for patients with functional VD symptoms. Potentially relevant predictors of outcome at follow-up are discussed.

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