People with vestibular dysfunction experience dizziness, vertigo and postural instability. The persistence of these symptoms may result in decreased balance confidence. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between decreased balance confidence and gait dysfunction in patients with unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction.
A retrospective review of 137 charts with the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale and the Dynamic Gait Index (DGI) scores was completed. Spearman rank-order correlation analysis was performed of the total sample, by age group and by degree of vestibular weakness.
A moderate correlation of r = 0.58 (p < 0.001) was found between the ABC Scale score and the DGI score in the total sample. Those with mild or moderate vestibular weakness had a correlation of r = 0.72 (p < 0.001) between the ABC Scale score and the DGI score, compared with a correlation of r = 0.48 in those with severe or total vestibular weakness.
Decreased balance confidence and increased fall risk are critical issues for people with vestibular dysfunction. The effects of aging did not have a significant impact on the relationship. The correlation between balance confidence and gait dysfunction was stronger in those with mild or moderate vestibular weakness, although those with severe or total weakness were more disabled by their vestibular symptoms.
"associated with gait instability after stratification by age (e.g., above 65 years) using a DGI score of 19 as a cut-off. In another study in patients with peripheral vestibular dysfunction , the DGI was strongly correlated (r = 0.72) with fear of falling, as measured by the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale, in young adults (20–39 years old), while moderate correlations (r = 0.61) were seen in the older adults (!65 years). A few studies have examined the DGI as a tool for assessing community-dwelling older adults   . "
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