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The Use of Technology in Vestibular Rehabilitation and Balance Assessment

Alahmari, Khalid (2012) The Use of Technology in Vestibular Rehabilitation and Balance Assessment. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background study 1: Individuals with vestibular disorders usually complain of dizziness and visual vertigo in visually complex environments. Habituation exercises using visually provocative stimuli have been shown to be useful during vestibular rehabilitation. Virtual reality based therapy (VRBT) is an emerging technology that can be used in vestibular rehabilitation to provide visual habituation exercises for individuals with vestibular disorders. The purpose of the study was to explore the use of VRBT in the treatment of individuals with vestibular disorders and to examine the difference in self report and performance measures between VRBT and customized physical therapy (PT).

Methods: Forty subjects with vestibular disorders participated in the study; subjects were assigned into two groups (VRBT or PT). Both groups had six treatment sessions for six weeks, and were assessed using self-report and performance measures. Results: Both groups improved similarly in most of self-report and performance measures and maintained improvements for six months after the intervention ended.

Background study 2: Falling is a risk factor associated with vestibular disorders that can impact quality of life and reduce participation in daily life. Falling can be caused by a decline in function of sensory inputs associated with aging. Measuring sensory control during standing may help to investigate age and vestibular disease effects on balance. The Balance Rehabilitation Unit (BRU) utilizes high technology in balance assessment. The psychometric properties of the BRU including the reliability and validity have not been studied. The purpose of study 2 was to examine the reliability and validity of the BRU in the assessment of people with and without vestibular disorders.

Methods: Ninety subjects (30 young healthy, 30 older healthy over 60 years of age, 30 individuals with vestibular disorders) participated in this study. Results: The BRU provided a reliable and valid measure for measuring the sensory contributions to postural control for healthy persons and people with vestibular disorders and was able to discriminate age and disease effect on balance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Alahmari, Khalidkaa48@pitt.eduKAA48
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWhitney, Susanwhitney@pitt.eduWHITNEY
Committee MemberSparto, Patrick psparto@pitt.eduPSPARTO
Committee MemberMarchetti,
Committee MemberFurman, Josephfurmanjm@upmc.eduFURMAN
Date: 11 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 14 March 2012
Approval Date: 11 June 2012
Submission Date: 3 April 2012
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 222
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vestibular Disorders, Vestibular Rehabilitation, Virtual Reality Technology, Virtual Reality Based Therapy, Balance Assessment, Balance Rehabilitation Unit
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2012 16:21
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:38


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