Dizziness is a common presentation to general practice (between 1 – 15% of consultations)1. When patients present complaining of dizziness, it’s important to gain an understanding of exactly what they mean, as various terms are used to describe different clinical presentations. In this month’s webinar excerpt, we share a short snippet from the webinar on Dizziness presented by Dr Rob Park, a GP on the Sunshine Coast in QLD. Dr Park outlines an approach to patients with dizziness to determine potential causes.
During the webinar, each differential was discussed in detail – you may want to do that as self-study. It’s important to have a clear understanding of each possible diagnosis as a basis for clinical reasoning. A ‘compare and contrast’ table may be useful to ensure that key features and distinguishing characteristics are considered. (You can read more about this technique to develop clinical reasoning skills in this post from 2016).
Rob wrote this great Blog post on Foam4GP in 2015: Do Dizzy Patients Make Your Head Spin?, which has a lot of additional detail and great videos to view clinical signs you’ll be looking for.
Further reading is recommended. Review the references below.
Resources to discuss with your supervisor can be found at GPSA Teaching Plan (See Presentations – Dizziness & Funny Turns)
- Bösner S, Schwarm S, Grevenrath P, et al. Prevalence, aetiologies and prognosis of the symptom dizziness in primary care – a systematic review. BMC Fam Pract. 2018;19(1):33. Published 2018 Feb 20. doi:10.1186/s12875-017-0695-0
- Australian Prescriber article (2005) on Dealing with Dizziness
- Professional information from patient.info (a UK website) on Dizziness, Giddiness and Feeling Faint.