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01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 1/2012

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

Health and Quality of Life Outcomes > Ausgabe 1/2012
Martin Mueller, Edith Schuster, Ralf Strobl, Eva Grill
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1477-7525-10-75) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

MM and EG designed the study. ES carried out the interviews. MM supervised data collection. MM, RS and ES analyzed the data. All Authors interpreted the results and contributed in drafting the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



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.


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).


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.


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.
Authors’ original file for figure 1
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