Methods:A single-group, preexperimental, feasibility study was conducted at a chiropractic college health center and a senior fitness center with a target sample size of 20 patients (40 years or older). Patients were treated by either a clinician or a chiropractic student intern for 8 weeks. The Dizziness Handicap Inventory was the primary outcome measurement, with the Short Form Berg Balance Scale (SF-BBS) and the Neck Disability Index used as secondary outcome measurements.
Results: Twenty-seven patients were recruited over a period of 13 months. Twenty-one patients enrolled in the study; but because of 2 dropouts, 19 patients completed the treatment. A median Dizziness Handicap Inventory change score of +7 points was calculated for those dizziness patients, with 3 patients improving by at least 18 points, indicating a clinically meaningful change. Seven of the 15 patients who performed the SF-BBS attained at least a 4-point improvement with an effect size of 1.2. A median Neck Disability Index change score of +1 was calculated for those patients with neck pain.
Twelve minor adverse reactions were reported by 8 patients, with 3 of those reactions lasting longer than 24 hours.
Conclusion: A large effect size was calculated for the SF-BBS. Most patients demonstrated improved balance, and some showed reduced dizziness and neck pain. Involving interns in care proved feasible. Further studies with comparison groups and larger samples are needed to explore the promising results of this study before any cause and effect relationship can be determined.
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