Research Article
Issue Date: October 1994
Published Online: October 01, 1994
Updated: April 30, 2020
Vestibular Rehabilitation Improves Daily Life Function
Author Affiliations
  • Helen Cohen, EdD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030
Article Information
Assistive Technology / Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Mental Health / Vision / Special Issue on Functional Outcomes
Research Article   |   October 01, 1994
Vestibular Rehabilitation Improves Daily Life Function
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1994, Vol. 48, 919-925.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1994, Vol. 48, 919-925.
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This article reviews recent research that addresses the functional outcomes of intervention for vestibular disorders. Vestibular impairments cause disequilibrium, blurred vision, disorientation, and vertigo. These sensory disturbances and motor impairments in turn cause dysfunction in many activities of daily living and in social interactions that traditional medical treatments do not address. The motor sequelae of some vestibular disorders can be treated successfully with programs of graded exercises and activities, the functional implications of which are described herein. The functional impairments caused by other vestibular disorders, which cannot be treated with graded activities, are also described. These disorders include bilateral vestibular loss caused by connective tissue disorders or by the use of ototoxic medications, tumors of the labyrinth or vestibular nerve, and Meniere’s disease. Occupational therapy intervention for these conditions may involve providing adaptive equipment, teaching alternative strategies for performing activities of daily living, and psychological intervention for depression and anxiety.