Effectiveness of the Epley manoeuvre in posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: A randomised clinical trial in primary care

José Luis Ballvé Moreno, Yolanda Rando Matos, Estrella Rodero Perez, Xavier Monteverde Curto, Carles Rubio Ripollès, Noemí Moreno Farres, Olga Lucia Arias Agudelo, Ricard Carrillo Muñoz, Iván Villar Balboa, Oriol Cunillera Puértolas, Jesús Almeda Ortega, Carlos Martin Cantera, Rafael Azagra Ledesma

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10 Citations (Scopus)


© British Journal of General Practice Background Evidence on the effectiveness of the Epley manoeuvre in primary care is scarce. Aim To evaluate effectiveness at 1 week, 1 month, and 1 year of a single Epley manoeuvre versus a sham manoeuvre in primary care. Design and setting Multicentre, double-blind randomised controlled trial in two primary care practices in Spain from November 2012 to January 2015. Method Patients were ≥18 years diagnosed with subjective or objective posterior benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (vertigo only, or vertigo and nystagmus after a Dix-Hallpike test [DHT]). The intervention group received the Epley manoeuvre, and the control group received a sham manoeuvre. Betahistine was prescribed following the same regimen in both groups. The main outcome measures were the DHT result classified as negative (neither vertigo nor nystagmus) or positive. Positive results were further divided into a positive result for both vertigo and nystagmus (positive DHT with nystagmus), and a positive result for vertigo only (positive DHT without nystagmus); self-reported resolution of vertigo; and self-reported severity of vertigo evaluated on a 10-point Likert scale (10 = worst imaginable vertigo). Results In total, 134 patients were randomised to either the intervention group (n = 66) or the sham group (n = 68). The intervention group showed better results in the unadjusted analyses at 1 week, with a lower rate of positive DHT with nystagmus (P = 0.022). A positive baseline DHT with nystagmus was associated with a reduction in vertigo severity (marginal effect for 10-point Likert-like question -1.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -2.95 to -0.51) and better positive DHT rates in the intervention group (adjusted odds ratio 0.09, 95% CI = 0.01 to 0.92) in the multivariate analyses. Conclusion A single Epley manoeuvre performed in primary care is an effective treatment for reversing a positive DHT and reducing vertigo severity in patients with baseline nystagmus in the DHT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E52-E60
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number678
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo/therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Positioning/methods
  • Primary Health Care
  • Treatment Outcome


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