Phobic postural vertigo
One hundred and six patients diagnosed between 1987 and 1998 to have somatoform phobic postural vertigo were examined in a follow–up study with a selfevaluating questionnaire. The improvement rate after a mean follow–up time of 8.5 years (5 to 15.9 years) was 75% (27% of the patients reported a complete remission). While the majority of these patients experienced improvement or remission during the first year after assessment of diagnosis and a short–term psychotherapeutic approach, some patients also had considerable improvement even after two or more years. There was a negative correlation between the duration of the condition before assessment of the diagnosis and the improvement/regression rate. The improvement/regression rate was independent of gender, age, preceding vestibular or nonvestibular organic disorders, and the various medical, physical, or psychotherapeutic interventions. Transient relapses occurred in 47% of the improved patients once or repeatedly. The probability of developing a relapse remained constant throughout the entire follow–up. None of the patients required a revision of the initial diagnosis on the basis of the questionnaire.
Key wordsphobic postural vertigo postural sway follow–up somatoform disorders
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