The Prevalence and Persistence of Dizziness in Older European Home Care Recipients: A Prospective Cohort Study

Vincent A van Vugt, Hanneke Stam, Jos W R Twisk, Harriet Finne-Soveri, Vjenka Garms-Homolová, Anja Declercq, Pálmi V Jónsson, Graziano Onder, Henriëtte G van der Roest, Hein van Hout, Otto R Maarsingh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The prevalence of different geriatric syndromes in older home care (HC) recipients is yet to be determined. Dizziness is often regarded as a geriatric syndrome. The natural course of dizziness in older people is still unknown, because of a lack of longitudinal studies. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and persistence of dizziness in HC recipients.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: Home care organizations in 6 European countries participating in the EU-funded Identifying best practices for care-dependent elderly by Benchmarking Costs and outcomes of community care (IBenC) project.

PARTICIPANTS: 2616 community-dwelling long-term HC recipients aged 65 years or older.

METHODS: Data were collected at baseline and 6 and 12 months by using the interRAI Home Care instrument (interRAI-HC). Dizziness status was assessed by the number of days people experienced dizziness in the last 3 days (0-3) and later dichotomized for analyses (present or not in the last 3 days). Dizziness persistence was defined as the odds for dizzy people at baseline to also report dizziness at subsequent follow-up moments, compared with people who were not dizzy at baseline. The pattern of dizziness was descriptively analyzed in recipients who completed all measurements. Generalized estimating equations analysis was used to determine the persistence of dizziness symptoms.

RESULTS: The prevalence of dizziness of 2616 eligible HC recipients at baseline was 25.1%, ranging from 16.2% (Belgium) to 39.7% (Italy). The majority of dizzy recipients at baseline also experienced dizziness after 6 and 12 months (79.1%). Dizziness persistence was high at 6 months [odds ratio (OR) 57.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) 43.1-77.5] and at 12 months (OR 30.2, 95% CI 22.3-41.1).

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Dizziness in older HC recipients in Europe is common, and dizziness persistence is high. This warrants a more active approach in treating dizziness in older HC recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-343.e1
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number3
Early online date28 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

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