Poor Treatment Outcomes Following Repositioning Maneuvers in Younger and Older Adults With Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Eyvonne Sim, Dawn Tan, Keith Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This systematic review aimed to methodically review the available evidence on poor treatment outcomes after repositioning maneuver treatments in adults with BPPV and whether there are differences in the outcomes for older and younger adults. Data sources: Embase, CINAHL, Scopus, PsycINFO (Ovid), Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and PubMed. Review methods: Studies were included if they were prospective experimental or observational studies with a minimal follow-up of 1 month; the subjects were at least 18 years old, had BPPV, and were treated with repositioning maneuvers. Studies were excluded if they were not available in English full text and if the outcomes used were confined to positional tests and subjective vertigo rating. Methodological quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklists. Meta-analysis was performed to compare outcomes for younger and older (≥60 years) subjects where multiple studies utilized similar outcomes. Results: Thirty-five studies were selected. The methodological quality was poor in more than 60% of the studies. Treatment efficacy, based on positional test results and symptom resolution and recurrence were the most common outcomes. Balance and quality of life measures improved after treatment but were not always normalized. Residual symptoms and psychoemotional consequences persisted in some subjects, despite BPPV resolution. Meta-analyses indicated poorer dynamic balance recovery and increased self-perceived level of handicap in the older group relative to the younger group. Conclusions and Implications: Although repositioning maneuvers were effective in BPPV management, some patients experienced residual dizziness, postural instability, recurrences, and psychoemotional consequences at least 1 month after repositioning. Moreover, older adults experienced less improvements in dynamic balance and self-perceived handicap rating compared with younger people. These issues may further impact on older adults with BPPV physically and mentally and should be addressed by future better-quality research and interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224.e1-224.e23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • older and younger adults
  • recurrence
  • repositioning maneuvers
  • residual dizziness
  • treatment outcomes

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