Asking about dizziness when turning in bed predicts examination findings for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the single most common cause of vestibular vertigo and is characterised by short episodes of rotational vertigo precipitated by changes in head positions like lying down or turning in bed. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess useful questions when suspecting benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) caused dizziness as well as identifying if a single question can be useful in identify or distinguish patients with BPPV from other dizziness aetiology. METHOD: A total of 149 patients admitted due to dizziness were included. Patients answered a questionnaire and were investigated for BPPV with diagnostic manoeuvres. RESULT: Two of the 15 questions were of diagnostic importance. Dizziness when laying down or turning in bed, increased likelihood of BPPV by an odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 60 (7.47-481.70). Continuous dizziness duration as opposed to lasting seconds decreased likelihood of BPPV with an odds ratio of 0.06 (0.01-0.27). CONCLUSION: Vertiginous attacks by turning or laying down in bed together with dizziness <1 minute, are important questions and strongly related to BPPV. Such questions are important when taking a medical history and may help to early identify BPPV, also for non-medical staff, as well as reduce the need of further investigations.


  • Ellen Lindell
  • Caterina Finizia
  • Mia Johansson
  • Therese Karlsson
  • Jerker Nilson
  • Måns Magnusson
External organisations
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • South Elfsborg Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Otorhinolaryngology


  • BPPV, diagnosis, dizziness, prevalence, vertigo
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-347
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vestibular Research: Equilibrium and Orientation
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch