Updated by Leigh Martin on April 4, 2023
It’s a very positive step to use these questionnaires alongside the VNG tests to support your diagnosis, guide decision-making, and chart progress of patients.
The DHI is a 25-question, self-administered questionnaire used to quickly capture the impact of dizziness. The three possible answers to the 25 questions are ‘Always’, ‘Sometimes’, or ‘No’. Always yields 4 points, sometimes yields 2 points, and no yields 0 points. Once completed, the questionnaire gives a total score from 0 to 100 points, which provides an indication of the handicapping effect of dizziness. A score of 0 is no effect, and a score of 100 is maximum effect.
The questions are also grouped into three domains:
Referring to the responses in each of these domains may help you to gauge the area of most handicap, and thus help to understand where you might place the emphasis in terms of rehabilitation strategies.
See Figure 1 for a complete overview of the DHI.
If you’re using the DHI as an outcome measure to chart progress after a program of vestibular rehabilitation therapy, then you need a change of 18 points in the overall score to consider this a true change.
It’s important to note that the score someone provides on the DHI will not always relate closely with the evidence of peripheral vestibular dysfunction that is indicated by the vestibular test battery. For example, someone may have a high degree of handicap and negative impact on their quality of life, and yet have little or no apparent vestibular dysfunction.
Like the DHI, the VRBQ provides a snapshot of the overall status at the beginning of a treatment program, which might well be at the point of vestibular assessment. You can repeat it after a vestibular rehabilitation treatment program to assess any changes in the patient’s self-reported status.
The questionnaire has two halves. The first assesses the symptoms, with the responses broken down into three aspects related to:
The second half assesses the impact of dizziness upon quality of life. The scoring provides a percentage scale, where 0% is no deficit compared with the patient’s own normal state, and 100% is the maximum deficit.
You need a change of 7% in the overall score to consider this a true change. You need changes of 6% and 9% to consider these as true changes in the Symptoms and Quality of Life halves, respectively.
 Jacobson, G.P. and Newman, C.W. (1990) The development of the dizziness handicap inventory. Archives of Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery, 116 pages 424 - 427.
 Morris, A., Lutman, M., and Yardley, L. (2008) Measuring Outcome from Vestibular Rehabilitation, Part I: Qualitative development of a new self-report measure. International Journal of Audiology, 47 pages 169-77.
 Morris, A., Lutman, M., and Yardley, L. 2009. Measuring Outcome from Vestibular Rehabilitation, Part II: Refinement and validation of a new self-report measure. International Journal of Audiology, 48 pages 24-37.