Defining Dizziness: A Home Healthcare Approach to Vestibular Disorders

This is an elective course in the Advanced Competency in Home Health program for both Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants.

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) may not apply this course to their initial Advanced Competency Certificate.

However, any registrant may participate in this course for credit and you are not required to participate in the Advanced Competency program in order to complete this course.

Learn more about the Advanced Competency.

Course Overview

Vestibular Disorders are very common and seen in patients with neurological, musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary dysfunction and are encountered in all practice settings especially in the home. This 6 hour course will provide a review of the anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system, instruction in examination techniques for dizziness, information on differentiating different causes of dizziness, and treatment of various causes of dizziness including Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Special emphasis is provided on how to modify examination and intervention techniques for the patient in the home setting.

Meet our Presenters

Diane M. Wrisley, PhD, PT, NCS Emeritus is an Associate Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Wingate University, is Director of Post-professional Programs and has emeritus status as board certified in Neurologic Physical Therapy. Dr. Wrisley holds a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the State University of New York at Buffalo, a post-professional master’s degree from Old Dominion University and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Balance Disorders Laboratory at the Neurological Sciences Institute of Oregon Health & Sciences University under the mentorship of Dr. Fay Horak and Dr. Robert Perterka. Dr. Wrisley has received pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship grants from the National Institute for Deafness and Communication as well as funding from the Foundation for Physical Therapy. She has over 30 years of clinical experience and has extensive experience in the evaluation and treatment of patients with vestibular and balance deficits and was awarded the APTA Neurology Section’s award for Clinical Excellence in Neurological Physical Therapy in 2002. She is a fellow of ABPTRFE credentialed Educational Leadership Institute and has been a fulltime faculty member for over 12 years. Dr. Wrisley has published numerous research articles and book chapters and presented both nationally and internationally. Her research interests include sensory influences on balance including the role of the cervical afferents on dizziness and balance, the evaluation and treatment of balance disorders, and physical therapy outcomes for people with vestibular and balance dysfunction.

Sharan Zirges, PT, MSHA is a physical therapist with 30 years of experience in home health, acute, geriatric, and neurological rehabilitation. Currently she is the program director and assistant professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at South University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She completed her Post-professional DPT at A.T. Still University in June 2016. Sharan has lectured, written and researched on fall prevention, fear of falling, and balance rehabilitation both nationally and internationally.

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Completion Instructions

Review the content, complete the assessment with at least a 70% score, claim your certificate.

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Delivery method



Diane Wrisley, PT, PhD; Sharan Zirges, PT, DPT, SHA

Learning objectives

At the end of this course the student will be able to:
  1. Describe the anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system and how it relates to pathology
  2. Perform several evaluation and treatment techniques for people with vestibular and balance disorders
  3. Differentiate between peripheral and central vestibular disorders
  4. Identify the indications and contraindications for vestibular rehabilitation
  5. Recognize the signs and symptoms of and evaluate for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
  6. Perform the standard treatments for BPPV
  7. Identify the expected outcomes of vestibular rehabilitation


Home Health Section

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1CoursePackage (2).mp4
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Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Domains:Sharan Zirges, vestibular, Vestibular Conditions, Diane Wrisley, home health, dizziness
Available discounts:
  • Non Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Home Health
    (until 12/31/2030)
* Prices in US Dollar