Multiple Co-Occurring Vestibular Disorders Identified Using the Dizziness Symptom Profile.


Purpose The purpose of the current investigation was to determine the interrelations among vestibular disorders from a data set generated from the patient perspective as compared to previous data generated from the physician's perspective. Method The data for the current investigation originated from a previously published study describing the development of the Dizziness Symptom Profile (DSP; Jacobson et al., 2019). The DSP is a 31-item patient self-report tool designed to help primary care physicians in the development of a differential diagnosis using the patient's level of agreement with each dizziness and symptom-related statement. Responses to these items converge on common vestibular diagnoses and were previously found to agree with ear specialist differential diagnoses 70.3% of the time. Data were collected for 131 subjects ( = 56.7 years, 72 women) seen for evaluation in a tertiary dizziness specialty clinic. For this study, the data were analyzed using descriptive statistics to determine the frequency of single diagnoses, multiple diagnoses, co-occurring diagnoses, and patterns of co-occurrence. Results Results indicated that 52.7% of patients endorsed a single vestibular diagnosis and 47.3% endorsed two or more vestibular diagnoses. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and vestibular migraine were the most common single diagnoses and also the most common co-occurring diagnoses. As the number of diagnoses endorsed on the DSP increased, so did the percentage of time that BPPV and vestibular migraine would occur. Conclusions Results support and extend the work of others but using data generated from the perspective of the patient. A slight majority of patients endorsed a single disorder, but almost as many patients endorsed more than one vestibular diagnosis. BPPV and vestibular migraine were the most common single vestibular diagnoses and also the most common co-occurring vestibular diagnoses; vestibular migraine was more common when multiple diagnoses were endorsed. Results suggest it is common for patients to volunteer symptoms that cannot be explained by a single vestibular diagnosis. This finding is in agreement with physician-generated diagnosis data. Clinicians should consider the possibility of co-occurring diagnoses in complicated patients or in patients who are not responding optimally to management of a single vestibular disorder. The DSP is a tool that encourages clinicians to consider multiple co-occurring vestibular disorders as the source of patient complaints.