Dizziness Handicap Inventory

Timothy C. Hain, MD • Page last modified: August 27, 2022Questionnaire index

There are innumerable questionnaires for dizziness, and the DHI is a popular one.

Online DHI versionJavascript version

Overview of the DHI test.

The dizziness handicap inventory was developed by the same authors who developed the tinnitus handicap inventory, (Jacobson et al, 1990).

The DHI is not a diagnostic test -- rather it produces scores related to the perceived dizziness handicap -- a subjective quantity.

The DHI is a 25 item test, and the maximum score is 100.

Some aggregate data:

We also have a large repertoire of dizzy patients in our clinic practice , where we have obtained the DHI in a bit over 5000 of them. .


Unlike the situation with the THI (also developed by the same authors), this questionnaire looks as if it has some reasonable statistical properties. It looks somewhat like a normal curve, it is not very skewed like the THI. Now the scores above are not from normal control subjects - -these are people who are endorsing dizziness. They are claiming to be dizzy. So one cannot really say that it is "abnormal" to have such and such a score, but one can certainly say that among dizzy patients, most have a score of about 40, and it is very unusual to have a score of 100, but not so rare to have a score of 0.

Wong et asl (2022) used a score of 71 as their criteria for "extremely elevated" DHI. They found "The cut-off for eeDHI scores was 71. In total, 20.7% had eeDHI. Logistic regression identified 6 independent predictors for eeDHI scores: numbness in the face or body during dizziness (OR = 5.99, 95% CI 1.77-20.30), history of falls (OR = 4.37, 95% CI 1.74-10.97), female sex (OR = 2.81, 95% CI 1.18-6.66), caloric weakness (OR = 2.61, 95% CI 1.36-5.01), total number of diagnoses associated with dizziness (OR = 2.17, 95% CI 1.11-4.28), and total number of symptoms during dizziness (OR = 1.25, 95% CI 1.07-1.45)." They suggested that "These findings suggest that patients with eeDHI have severe disease and should be screened for falls."

General References: