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Yip, Chun Wai; Strupp, Michael (2018): The Dizziness Handicap Inventory does not correlate with vestibular function tests: a prospective study. In: Journal of Neurology, Vol. 265, No. 5: pp. 1210-1218
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Abstract

The Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) is believed to quantitate the handicap related to the presence or severity of underlying vestibular dysfunction. However, patients with chronic vestibular diseases may manifest various degrees of behavioural and physiological adaptation resulting in variances of the DHI. Our primary study objective is to evaluate the correlation between the DHI and measurable vestibular parameters. Secondarily, we compared DHI among different vestibular disorders (central, peripheral and functional), and different types of anatomic deficits (semicircular canal vs otolithic). We also correlated the DHI and posturography. We prospectively evaluated 799 patients with precise vestibular diagnoses using video head impulse testing (vHIT), caloric irrigation, and cervical/ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials (c/oVEMP). Posturography was done for 84 patients. All participants completed the DHI. No significant correlation was found between DHI and (1) vestibulo-ocular reflex parameters: unilateral weakness r = - 0.018, total calorics r = 0.055, vHIT right r = 0.007, vHIT left r = - 0.091, vHIT asymmetry r = 0.013;(2) otolith parameters: cVEMP amplitude right r = - 0.034, amplitude left r = - 0.004, asymmetry r = 0.016;oVEMP amplitude right r = 0.044, amplitude left r = - 0.007, asymmetry r = - 0.008. Patients with central vestibular disorders had higher DHI than those with peripheral (z = - 4.743, p = 0.001) or functional disorders (z = - 2.902, p = 0.004). DHI of patients with deficits of canal or otolith function did not differ significantly from those with no deficits (z = 2.153, p = 0.541). There was no significant correlation between DHI and postural sway on posturography. Therefore, the DHI does not correlate with vestibular tests, and neither reflects the presence nor severity of peripheral vestibular deficits.