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Open Access Research

Identification of aspects of functioning, disability and health relevant to patients experiencing vertigo: a qualitative study using the international classification of functioning, disability and health

Martin Mueller12*, Edith Schuster1, Ralf Strobl1 and Eva Grill12

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Marchioninistr 17, 81377, Munich, Germany

2 Integrated Center for Research and Treatment of Vertigo, Balance and Ocular Motor Disorders (IFBLMU), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, University Hospital Munich, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2012, 10:75  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-75

Published: 27 June 2012

Abstract

Purpose

Aims of this study were to identify aspects of functioning and health relevant to patients with vertigo expressed by ICF categories and to explore the potential of the ICF to describe the patient perspective in vertigo.

Methods

We conducted a series of qualitative semi-structured face-to-face interviews using a descriptive approach. Data was analyzed using the meaning condensation procedure and then linked to categories of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

Results

From May to July 2010 12 interviews were carried out until saturation was reached. Four hundred and seventy-one single concepts were extracted which were linked to 142 different ICF categories. 40 of those belonged to the component body functions, 62 to the component activity and participation, and 40 to the component environmental factors. Besides the most prominent aspect “dizziness” most participants reported problems within “Emotional functions (b152), problems related to mobility and carrying out the daily routine. Almost all participants reported “Immediate family (e310)” as a relevant modifying environmental factor.

Conclusions

From the patients’ perspective, vertigo has impact on multifaceted aspects of functioning and disability, mainly body functions and activities and participation. Modifying contextual factors have to be taken into account to cover the complex interaction between the health condition of vertigo on the individuals’ daily life. The results of this study will contribute to developing standards for the measurement of functioning, disability and health relevant for patients suffering from vertigo.

Keywords:
Vertigo (MeSH); Outcome assessment (Health Care) (MeSH); Qualitative research (MeSH); Classification (MeSH)