Vestibular 101: Basic Clinical Competency

Vestibular 101: Basic Clinical Competency


Colleen Sleik PT, DPT, NCS

This course will introduce differential diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of the most common forms of dizziness presenting in clinical practice. This course is designed for all clinicians (PT and OT), including those with no prior experience or education in vestibular rehabilitation. Material covered will include differential diagnosis to recognize signs and symptoms of peripheral and central dizziness, when to refer, and whether the patient is appropriate for vestibular rehab. Basic assessment techniques for BPPV of the posterior, horizontal and anterior canals, HINTS testing to differentiate central from peripheral pathology, and screening for neurologic findings. Treatment techniques for posterior, horizontal and anterior canal BPPV and treatment based on clinical practice guidelines for vestibular hypofunction will be presented. This information is applicable to a large population of patients with symptoms of dizziness. It will provide the clinician with basic instruction in recognizing patients that are appropriate for vestibular rehab and those that require referral to a specialist. It will also provide the clinician with guidance on treatment techniques to address BPPV and vestibular hypofunction.

Educational Level: Introductory

Online, Self-Paced: Ongoing

Intended Audience: Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists

Instructional Methods: Recorded powerpoint lecture, video demonstration

Cost: $75

Approved by WI Chapter of the APTA for .65 CEU’s (6.5 Contact Hours), pending AOTA approval.



1. Recognize the clinical signs and symptoms of BPPV and vestibular hypofunction, and their effects on safety in the home and work environments.

2. Demonstrate proper technique for the following BPPV Assessments: Hallpike-Dix, Modified Hallpike-Dix, Roll Test, Bow and Lean Test

3. Apply the appropriate canalith repositioning maneuver to effectively treat BPPV and improve stability and safety with position changes, such as getting out of bed, bending over and turning in the kitchen.

4. Apply HINTS testing to differentiate central from peripheral dizziness to appropriately triage patients with acute vestibular syndrome.

5. Identify the clinical findings indicative of peripheral vestibular hypofunction and apply clinical practice guidelines in developing a plan of care for patients with peripheral vestibular hypofunction.

6. Name the 4 components of vestibular rehab according to the clinical practice guidelines and discuss their role in restoring balance and visual stability to improve function in activities of daily living.

Approved by the Wisconsin APTA for .65 CEU’s (6.5 contact hours). Focus on Function Physical Therapy, PC is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Course is pending AOTA approval. This course is offered at .65 CEU’s (6.5 contact hours), intermediate educational level, foundational knowledge. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

Course details: