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Release Date: December 15, 2017
Vestibular disorders are common in the adult population, affecting a vast number of persons over 40 years of age, with increased prevalence of vestibular dysfunction occurring with advancing age. Persons diagnosed with vestibular disorders have a higher likelihood of experiencing problems with balance and dizziness, leading to reduced physical function and falls, and subsequent early nursing home placement and early mortality making early diagnosis and effective management essential. There is strong research evidence to support the efficacy of vestibular rehabilitation to reduce or eliminate the symptoms and sequelae associated with common vestibular disorders.The vestibular system is a highly specialized sensory apparatus that integrates information regarding head movement and position relative to gravity with information from the visual and somatosensory systems to mediate upright posture, postural control, and gaze stabilization. Given the highly specialized nature of this system, physical therapy management of persons with vestibular dysfunction requires additional education and training beyond what is offered in a typical entry-level physical therapy program curriculum.
Detailed knowledge of the vestibular system is important for physical therapists to effectively manage balance and gait disturbances in patients with vestibular dysfunction. Differential assessment of the source of peripheral vestibular dysfunction depends on a comprehensive subjective account of symptom provocation and severity, as well as a targeted clinical examination. The key components of a clinical examination include oculomotor and vestibular function testing, measures of balance, gait, and fall risk, as well as a review of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems.
The purpose of this course is to educate the practicing physical therapist on the management of patients with peripheral vestibular disorders in order to expand their current practice skill set into the subspecialty of vestibular rehabilitation. This will be accomplished through knowledge of functional anatomy of the vestibular system and current methods of evidence-based examination and the process of differential assessment to determine effective treatment of common peripheral vestibular disorders, or when referral is appropriate.
This intermediate level course is targeted at practicing physical therapists who have experience managing patients with balance dysfunction and basic knowledge of standardized gait and balance measures.
Texas PTs & PTAs - This activity is provided by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Accredited Provider #1911021TX and meets continuing competence requirements for PT & PTA license renewal in Texas.
- Identify the anatomy and peripheral vestibular physiology, and pathways underlying gaze stabilization and postural control.
- Differentiate between the types of peripheral vestibular disorders.
- Select appropriate examination measures based on patient report and presentation.
- Design appropriate treatment interventions based on interpretation of examination findings.
Janine Hatch, PT, DPT, MS, received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from New York University in 1990, and MS and DPT degrees from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions with concentrations in balance disorders in older adults and clinical management of vestibular disorders. For the past 20 years, her clinical practice has focused on the geriatric population and rehabilitation of balance and vestibular disorders in both the skilled-nursing and outpatient settings. A certified Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist from Emory University and APTA board-certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist, Janine has authored publications on the topic of balance dysfunction and is a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy and the American Journal for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Hatch currently teaches and has a clinical practice at Sacred Heart University.
- Courses must be completed within one (1) year of the date of purchase.
- You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
- Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
- All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
- There are no prerequisites for this course.