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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2016 August;52(4):466-78


language: English

Is customized vestibular rehabilitation effective in patients with multiple sclerosis? A randomized controlled trial

Gulnur OZGEN 1, Hale KARAPOLAT 2, Yesim AKKOC 1, Nur YUCEYAR 1

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey; 2 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey


BACKGROUND: Balance disorders are among the most common problems encountered by patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
AIM: The purpose of this randomized, controlled trial was to investigate the effects of customized vestibular rehabilitation (VR) on balance, functional capacity, quality of life, and depression in patients with MS.
DESIGN: This study was designed as a prospective, randomized, controlled trial.
SETTING: The study was carried out in a single tertiary referral center.
POPULATION: Forty consecutive patients referred with a diagnosis of MS were randomized into two groups: an exercise group (N.=20) and a control group (N.=20).
METHODS: The experimental group underwent customized VR and the wait-listed control group received the usual medical care. All of the patients were assessed with objective balance tests (Romberg Test, Tandem Romberg Test, Foam Romberg Test, Static Posturography, Six-Meter Walk Test, Five Times Sit-to-Stand Test, Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go Test, Functional Gait Assessment, and Dynamic Gait Index), subjective balance parameters (Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale and Dizziness Handicap Inventory), and functional capacity (Six-Minute Walking Test), quality of life (Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life–54), and depression (Beck Depression Inventory) scales.
RESULTS: At the end of the trial, the exercise group exhibited significant changes in most of the evaluated parameters compared to the control group [except the Tandem Romberg with eyes closed and the Foam Romberg, standing with eyes open (P<0.05). No significant differences were observed in any of the parameters in the control group (P>0.05). The intergroup comparisons of differences indicated significant recoveries in favor of the exercise group in all of the evaluated parameters (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms the effects of customized VR programs on balance, quality of life, and functional capacity in patients with MS.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Customized VR is an effective method for treating balance disorders in patients with MS.

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