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Living with a vestibular disorder during the Covid-19 pandemic: An online survey study

Smith, Laura, Tresh, Miriam, Surenthiran, S.S., Wilkinson, David T. (2022) Living with a vestibular disorder during the Covid-19 pandemic: An online survey study. Journal of Vestibular Research, . ISSN 0957-4271. E-ISSN 1878-6464. (doi:10.3233/VES-210119) (KAR id:96133)

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Background: People with vestibular disorders experience symptoms which put them at risk of reduced wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Objective: To assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on vestibular symptoms, access to healthcare and daily activities amongst people living with a vestibular disorder.

Methods: An online survey was completed by 124 people in the UK with a vestibular disorder. The survey incorporated the Vertigo Symptom Scale-Short Form and questions regarding health status, healthcare received, daily activities and employment during Covid-19.

Results: The Covid-19 pandemic affected perceptions of wellbeing. 54.1% rated their health as worse now than before the pandemic. Vertigo, unsteadiness, dizziness, tinnitus, loss of concentration/memory, and headaches were the most exacerbated symptoms. Respondents reported changes to their daily activities including reduced social contact (83%) and exercise (54.3%). Some experienced healthcare delays or received a remote appointment. Remote care was perceived as convenient, but barriers included difficulty communicating, trouble concentrating and perceived unsuitability for initial appointments. Unintended benefits of the pandemic included less social pressure, avoiding busy environments, and engaging in self-care.

Conclusion: The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are diverse. Clinical services should be mindful that Covid-19 can exacerbate vestibular and allied neuropsychiatric symptoms that require acute, multi-disciplinary intervention, but not lose sight of the potential benefit and cost saving associated with promoting self-management and delivering remote care, especially post-diagnosis.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3233/VES-210119
Uncontrolled keywords: Covid-19; activities of daily living; healthcare; psychological symptoms; vestibular
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental health
R Medicine > RF Otorhinolaryngology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: David Wilkinson
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2022 08:50 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2022 15:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Smith, Laura.

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Tresh, Miriam.

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Wilkinson, David T..

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