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The University of Southampton
Primary Care

Dizziness Case Study

Dizziness affects nearly one in three people aged over 65 in the UK and is often caused by problems with the vestibular (balance) organ in the inner ear. 

Dizziness Case Study

Vestibular rehabilitation (VR) is an effective behavioural intervention for vestibular dizziness, but General Practitioners often do not have the training or time to support their patients through a VR programme. 

In collaboration with Professor Yardley and a team based within the Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP) and researchers from Imperial College London, and the Universities of Linkoping and Stockholm in Sweden, we developed 'Balance Retraining', an internet-based VR intervention. Balance Retraining is designed to help people with dizziness to carry out vestibular rehabilitation exercises via web access, using video demonstrations, instructions and personalised feedback and advice.

We recently completed a full randomised controlled trial in primary care with 296 patients who had experienced dizziness. We demonstrated that Balance Retraining significantly improved dizziness symptoms and reduced dizziness-related disability in adults aged over 50 compared to usual GP care after 6 months. The paper was published in leading journal Annals of Family Medicine Our research was covered locally by the Daily Echo and nationally by the BBC. Since it aired, the BBC's Facebook video highlighting the research has been viewed 26,000 times.  

Our intervention is freely available for clinicians and their patients. Balance Retraining can be accessed here: http://balance.lifeguidehealth.org 

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