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RehabMeasures Instrument

Vertigo Handicap Questionnaire

Last Updated

Purpose

  • The Vestibular Handicap Questionnaire was developed from in-depth interviews with 84 individuals with vertigo ranging in onset from less than 6 months to greater than 5 years. 
  • The questionnaire was developed to examine the effects of vertigo on disability, handicap and psychological distress. 
  • It is designed to assess the disabling consequences of vertigo on activities of daily living, social life and leisure activities. 
  • The questionnaire assesses all of the psychological consequences of vertigo including perceived social problems and degree of emotional distress. 
  • The VHQ has been referred to as one of the most clinically relevant tools for assessing the disabling impact of vertigo on quality of life. 
  • The VHQ is suitable tool for the assessment of patient perceived handicap and assessment of the benefits following therapeutic intervention both physically and psychologically. 
Acronym VHQ

Area of Assessment

Activities of Daily Living
Life Participation
Quality of Life
Social Relationships
Social Support
Vestibular

Assessment Type

Patient Reported Outcomes

Administration Mode

Paper & Pencil

Cost

Free

Diagnosis/Conditions

  • Vestibular Disorders

Key Descriptions

  • The Vestibular Handicap Questionnaire is a 25-item questionnaire to assess the effects of vertigo on quality of life. 
  • The questionnaire consists of 25 items measuring four dimensions of effects of vertigo:
    1) Restriction of activity
    2) Social anxieties
    3) Fear of vertigo
    4) Severity of episodes.
  • The item scaling is on a 5-point Likert scale from 0 (no handicap) to 4 (maximum handicap).
  • Scores range from 0-100 with higher scores indicating greater perceived handicap. ‘Percentage handicap’ was calculated as the average score per item multiplied by 25, giving a theoretical maximum score of 100%.

Number of Items

25

Equipment Required

  • The questionnaire

Time to Administer

10-15 minutes

Required Training

No Training

Age Ranges

Adult

18 - 64

years

Elderly Adult

65 +

years

Instrument Reviewers

Reviewed with references for individuals with vestibular disorders by Tracy Rice, PT, MPH, NCS and Jenny Fay, PT, DPT, NCS and the Vestibular EDGE task force of the Neurology Section of the APTA (2013).

Body Part

Head

ICF Domain

Body Function
Activity
Participation

Measurement Domain

Activities of Daily Living
Emotion
Sensory

Professional Association Recommendation

Recommendations for use of the instrument from the Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Multiple Sclerosis Taskforce (MSEDGE), Parkinson’s Taskforce (PD EDGE), Spinal Cord Injury Taskforce (PD EDGE), Stroke Taskforce (StrokEDGE), Traumatic Brain Injury Taskforce (TBI EDGE), and Vestibular Taskforce (Vestibular EDGE) are listed below. These recommendations were developed by a panel of research and clinical experts using a modified Delphi process.

For detailed information about how recommendations were made, please visit:  http://www.neuropt.org/go/healthcare-professionals/neurology-section-outcome-measures-recommendations

Abbreviations:

 

HR

Highly Recommend

R

Recommend

LS / UR

Reasonable to use, but limited study in target group  / Unable to Recommend

NR

Not Recommended

Recommendations for use based on acuity level of the patient:

 

Acute

(CVA < 2 months post)

(SCI < 1 month post) 

(Vestibular < 6 weeks post)

Subacute

(CVA 2 to 6 months)

(SCI 3 to 6 months)

Chronic

(> 6 months)

(Vestibular > 6 weeks post)

Vestibular EDGE

LS

 

LS

Recommendations based on vestibular diagnosis

 

Peripheral

Central

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Other

Vestibular EDGE

LS

LS

LS

LS

Recommendations for entry-level physical therapy education and use in research:

 

Students should learn to administer this tool? (Y/N)

Students should be exposed to tool? (Y/N)

Appropriate for use in intervention research studies? (Y/N)

Is additional research warranted for this tool (Y/N)

Vestibular EDGE

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Considerations

Limited psychometric properties should be considered before use.  

German Version available.

Do you see an error or have a suggestion for this instrument summary? Please e-mail us!

Vestibular Disorders

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Cut-Off Scores

(Duracinsky, M., 2007) Scores range from 0-100; 0 indicating no handicap and 100 severe handicap, with no cut-off score established.

Test/Retest Reliability

Duracinsky, M., 2007) Test-retest reliability after 6 months showed there was no significant change 

Internal Consistency

(Duracinsky, M., 2007) High internal consistency for total score (ɑ = 0.93); Satisfactory internal consistency for dimension scores (ɑ = 0.75-0.82)

Construct Validity

(Duracinsky, M., 2007) Individuals with episodic vertigo versus just a single episode of vertigo had worse scores on the VHQ (p < 0.03)

Responsiveness

(Yardley L, Putman J. 1992) The VHQ was found to be responsive in a small sample of 14 individuals who improved after 6 months

Bibliography

Duracinsky, M., Mosnier, I., et al. (2007). "Literature review of questionnaires assessing vertigo and dizziness, and their impact on patients' quality of life." Value Health 10(4): 273-284. Find it on PubMed

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