Residency Course

Vestibular Rehabilitation: An Introduction to Assessment and Treatment

Faculty: James Gurley, PT, DPT, NCS Assistant Professor, Mercy College (Vestibular Rehab Clinical Specialist, James J. Peters VA Medical Center) and Susan L. Whitney, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA Professor, University of Pittsburgh (Departments of Physical Therapy, Otolaryngology, and Clinical and Translational Science)

Course Description.

This comprehensive course will provide the physical therapist with the ability to proficiently examine, diagnose, and treat patients with various peripheral and central vestibular disorders. The anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system and its central connections will be reviewed and the signs and symptoms of common vestibular diagnoses will be discussed. On-line recorded lectures will be supplemented with case presentations as well as video analysis of patient eye movements. In-person lab practice will be provided so the practitioner has the ability to practice the various skills commonly used to examine, diagnose, and provide interventions for persons with vestibular disorders. The clinical practice guidelines for vestibular hypofunction and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) will be reviewed to enable the practitioner the ability to develop an individualized, evidence-based plan of care for their patients.

Format: Available in online only and hybrid online and in-person. The online course presents the evidence and basic skills required for vestibular rehabilitation, as well as an opportunity to apply this information to patient cases. The in-person option provides an opportunity for mentored practice of skills and application of the material to patient cases.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system, including the peripheral and central connections.

  2. Understand the pathophysiology and signs and symptoms of common vestibular disorders.

  3. Explain the laboratory tests used to diagnose vestibular disorders including videonystagmography (VNG), rotational chair, computerized dynamic posturography (CDP), vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP), and electrocochleography (ECOG).

  4. Discuss outcome measures and other tools that are used to help diagnose vestibular disorders and monitor a patient’s response to treatment.

  5. Describe and perform various examination skills to competently assess a patient with a vestibular disorder including oculomotor function, head shaking nystagmus test, head impulse test, vibration induced nystagmus, and dynamic visual acuity.

  6. Differentiate peripheral from central vestibular disorders.

  7. Describe and be able to safely perform and interpret positional tests to determine a diagnosis of BPPV including the Dix-Hallpike, the roll test, the bow and lean test plus long sit to supine test, deep head hanging, and the sidelying test.

  8. Interpret eye movement findings from the positional testing and correctly diagnose the type of BPPV from central disorders.

  9. Describe the canalith repositioning maneuvers including the modified Epley, the Semont, the barbeque maneuver, and the Gufoni.

  10. Safely perform the canalith repositioning maneuvers including the modified Epley, the Semont, the barbeque maneuver, the LI posterior and horizontal canal maneuvers, and the Gufoni.

  11. Discuss evidence-based management of BPPV, unilateral vestibular hypofunction, and bilateral vestibular hypofunction.

  12. Apply appropriate evidence-based interventions for patients with unilateral and bilateral vestibular hypofunction and central pathologies.

The online course will be launched in Aug, 2019

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