Purpose: Vestibular/balance screeners can improve the efficiency of the diagnostic process. Despite prior literature illustrating the importance of screeners, research suggests that many professionals do not utilize screening protocols. Methods: Thirty-two audiologists and thirty-four physical therapists completed an electronic survey with questions regarding the use of screeners and the referral process. The survey examined variables surrounding the use of vestibular/balance screeners among audiologists and physical therapists, including frequency of use, commonly used screeners, and factors affecting the use or non-use of screeners. Results: Physical therapists utilized vestibular/balance screeners statistically more often and used a larger variety of screeners compared to audiologists. The most commonly reported factors for not using screeners were lack of time, training, and reimbursement. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of screener training for both audiologists and physical therapists. With increased interdisciplinary interaction and screener use, accurate diagnoses and referrals can be made sooner in order to create treatment plans for patients with vestibular/balance disorders.
We would like to express our gratitude towards Elizabeth M. Adams, PhD, Heidi McDermott, DPT, PhD, and Amy C. Nichols, AuD, PhD for their guidance and assistance of this project.
Greene AW, Flagge AG, Stanley NS. Factors Affecting the Use of Vestibular/Balance Screening Measures in Audiologists and Physical Therapists in Patients Reporting Dizziness. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Sep 21;21(4), Article 9.