BACKGROUND: Phobic postural vertigo is characterized by dizziness in standing and walking despite normal clinical balance tests. Patients sometimes exhibit anxiety reactions and avoidance behavior to specific stimuli. Different treatments are possible for PPV, including vestibular rehabilitation exercises, pharmacological treatment, and cognitive behavioral therapy. We recently reported significant benefits of cognitive behavioural therapy for patients with phobic postural vertigo. This study presents the results of a one-year follow-up of these patients.
METHODS: Swedish translations of the following questionnaires were administered: (Dizziness Handicap Inventory, Vertigo Symptom Scale, Vertigo Handicap Questionnaire, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) were administered to 20 patients (9 men and 11 women; mean age 43 years, range 23-59 years) one year after completion of cognitive behavioral therapy.
RESULTS: Test results were similar to those obtained before treatment, showing that no significant treatment effects remained.
CONCLUSION: Cognitive behavioral therapy has a limited long-term effect on phobic postural vertigo. This condition is more difficult to treat than panic disorder with agoraphobia. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises and pharmacological treatment might be the necessary components of treatment.