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J Audiol Otol. 2018 Jan;22(1):6-12. English. Original Article.
Roh KJ , Kim MK , Kim JH , Son EJ .
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

Background and Objectives

Dizziness is a common condition in outpatient clinics. Comorbid conditions such as anxiety and/or depression often complicate a patient’s ability to cope with dizziness. The purpose of the present study was to explore the extent of psychiatric distress using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and to compare the results with the subjective severity of dizziness.

Subjects and Methods

The cross-sectional study included a total of 456 consecutive patients presenting with acute (n=327) and chronic (n=127) dizziness symptoms. The HADS was used to estimate emotional distress and compare between patients with acute and chronic dizziness symptoms. Also, we calculated correlations between subjective dizziness handicap scores and emotional distress using the total and subscale scores of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), Disability Scale (DS), and HADS.


The HADS total and subscale scores were significantly increased in patients with chronic dizziness (p<0.01) compared with those with acute symptoms. In patients with symptoms of both acute and chronic dizziness, moderate correlations were evident between the DHI and HADS total scores. When we compared DHI subscale scores with the HADS scores, the emotional DHI subscale scores correlated more highly with the HADS total scores and the scores on the anxiety and depression subscales, than did the functional or physical DHI subscale scores.


Increased levels of distress measured using the HADS in patients with chronic symptoms suggest that emotional status of the patients may contribute to prolongation of dizziness symptoms from the acute phase.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.