An interprofessional team from Western University of Health Sciences is conducting a clinical research study on two intervention approaches for people with dizziness.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you have suffered from dizziness for more than three months and you are between the ages of 18 and 79. The purpose of the study is to determine if Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) and/or Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) are helpful to patients suffering from dizziness.

Participants may receive OMT, VRT, both treatments, or become part of a control group. Participants will receive $20 per evaluation. For more information or to see if you qualify, contact research coordinator Chris Michaels by phone at 909-469-8463, or by email at vertigoresearch@westernu.edu.

“Vertigo or dizziness is a very prevalent problem in the community, especially among older individuals who are at an increased risk of fall because of dizziness,” said Principal Investigator Marcel Fraix, DO, FAAPMR. “We are looking at ways in which we can provide cost-effective treatment with minimal side effects to help with the safety and function of patients in the community.”

Fraix, who is chair of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, and is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuromuscular Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (NMM/OMM), is conducting the study with COMP Department of NMM/OMM Chair and Associate Professor of Family Medicine Michael Seffinger, DO, FAAFP; College of Allied Health Professions (CAHP) Associate Dean for Research and Department of Physical Therapy Education Professor Donna Redman-Bentley, PT, PhD; College of Optometry Chief of Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Valerie Wren, OD, FAAO; former CAHP Assistant Professor Victoria Graham, DPT, OCS, NCS, now at California State University, Northridge; and CAHP Department of Physical Therapy Education Assistant Professor Mary Hudson-McKinney, DPT, NCS. Eric Hurwitz, DC, PhD, from the University of Hawaii, is providing data analysis.

“The interprofessional research aspect is compatible with WesternU’s interprofessional education and now the expansion into interprofessional practice,” Redman-Bentley said. “So it adds the element of research in the whole concept of different professions working together to provide the most effective and appropriate care for the patient.”

OMT involves using the hands to diagnose, treat and prevent illness and injury. Using OMT, an osteopathic physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance. The treatment can be used to ease pain, promote healing and increase overall mobility.

“Balance entails coordination of the musculoskeletal system, visual system, and the balance centers in the inner ear,” Seffinger said. “VRT, performed by a physical therapist, assesses each of those components to find out what the patient needs to rehabilitate, then gives them specific exercises to retrain the systems that need the most attention.”

It has become clear that interprofessional collaborative care is the most effective care for patient problems of all types – diabetes, pain management, back pain, neck pain, cardiovascular disease, obesity and more, Seffinger said.

“With vertigo and dizziness, a combined approach to management needs to be further explored to find the best care possible,” he said. “We’re trying to find out what is the best approach for patients with dizziness.”

For more information, visit the website http://www.westernu.edu/osteopathy-vertigo-study.