Driving ability in patients with dizziness: a systematic review

M.H. Uwents, C. Jorissen, A. van Ombergen, B. Dobbels, R. van de Berg, S.J. de Varebeke, M. Lammers, V. Ross, O. Vanderveken, T. Brijs, V. van Rompaey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Purpose The aim of this systematic review was to identify and evaluate studies dealing with driving performance of dizzy patients or patients with a vestibular disorder. Methods A systematic review was performed according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis guidelines. (1) PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane library. (2) Study selection: articles about driving ability and reported driving difficulties in patients with dizziness, or a diagnosed vestibular disorder, were included. (3) Data extraction was performed by two independent authors using predefined data fields: patient's characteristics, diagnostic criteria, sample size, and type of evaluation of driving ability and outcome of the study. Results Eight out of 705 articles matched the inclusion criteria but varied widely regarding the study population, study design, and outcome measures. The majority of studies reported a negative impact of dizziness and/or vestibular disorders on self-reported driving ability and car accidents. Yet several studies could not identify any impairment of driving ability. Conclusions Driving ability was negatively affected by dizziness or a vestibular disorder in the majority of included studies with low risk of bias. This systematic review revealed a significant heterogeneity in studies reporting driving performance and contradictory results. We were, therefore, unable to identify a causal relationship between dizziness and driving ability. There is a need for prospective studies in populations with different vestibular disorders using subjective and objective outcome measures that have been validated to evaluate driving performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1813-1829
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number4
Early online date31 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Driving ability
  • Fitness to drive
  • Driving license
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Vestibular disorder


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