OBJECTIVE: To identify an accurate psychological screening questionnaire to assist in the management of patients with psychogenic dizziness. STUDY DESIGN: Patients referred to the Balance Center of the University of Pennsylvania with a presumptive diagnosis of psychogenic dizziness based on neurotologic assessment were administered a Basic Symptom Inventory - 53 (BSI - 53) psychological screening questionnaire and were referred for psychiatric assessment. Neither the patients nor the psychiatrist were aware of the results of the BSI - 53. The results of the neurotologic assessment, the BSI - 53, and the psychiatric assessment were then compared for their degree of association. RESULTS: Strong associations were demonstrated between the results of the BSI - 53 questionnaire and the results of the neurotologic and psychiatric assessments. CONCLUSIONS: The BSI - 53 is an easily administered, objective, and accurate tool useful in identifying the presence of psychopathology in patients thought to have psychogenic dizziness. It is recommended as a valuable addition to the battery of tests performed when evaluating the dizzy patient.
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