New interdisciplinary curriculum published in the Journal of Vestibular Research aims to standardize and advance treatment of symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness and unsteadiness caused by a wide range of disorders
“The Bárány Society’s position is that no vestibular disease or disorder belongs to a particular physician specialty or healthcare profession,” explained Göran Laurell, MD, PhD, Uppsala University, President of the Bárány Society. “Vestibular Medicine (VestMed) should be considered as an intrinsic or additional added competence to established specialties and professions. All health professions dealing with patients with vestibular disorders should share a common core of knowledge, skills, and attitudes, since patients might present with the same disorder to VestMed professionals with different clinical backgrounds.”
The Bárány Society Vestibular Medicine Curriculum (BS-VestMed-Cur) was developed by a team of experts led by Raymond van de Berg, MD, PhD, Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht, The Netherlands, and Alexandre Bisdorff, MD, PhD, Clinique du Vertige, Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. It sets out a comprehensive framework of suggested topics and skills. Subject areas include: anatomy, physiology, and physics; vestibular symptoms; history taking; bedside examination; ancillary testing; disorders; treatment; and professional attitudes.
Topics within each subject area are scored for levels of knowledge and skills. Levels of knowledge range from 1 (general awareness of a subject) to 4 (specific and broad knowledge). Levels of skill for each topic within each subject are scored from 1 (has observed or knows of) to 4 (competent to manage without assistance).
Basic and Expert Skill levels were determined by experts representing the various medical specialties and professions commonly treating patients with vestibular disorders. Both levels are clearly delineated in two supplementary tables.
The Basic Level Curriculum is the basis for all VestMed professionals. It allows low-threshold access to the fundamentals of VestMed and may encourage professionals to become members of the VestMed community at large. The Expert Level Curriculum differs from the Basic Level Curriculum in that it includes a higher level of detail and requires a higher level of understanding. Professionals who wish to practice VestMed as the main activity within their practice or profession should master the relevant areas of the Expert Level Curriculum.
Attainment targets are specified for each physician specialty and non-physician health profession to reflect their scope of practice. Dr. van de Berg and Dr. Bisdorff explained, “For example, a VestMed professional with a background in neurology or physiotherapy would not be expected to perform surgery but should have a basic understanding of the available procedures and when to refer for consideration of these.”
The BS-VestMed-Cur does not go into textbook levels of detail, nor does it define the design of a VestMed training program or criteria for training. Rather, it is intended as a guide for institutions and individuals involved in teaching vestibular medicine to ensure that their programs cover all the relevant topics. “The hope is that the framework provided in this curriculum will assist those seeking to raise standards of content and delivery for current and future teaching and training programs,” commented Dr. van de Berg and Dr. Bisdorff.
In the future, the possibility of establishing accredited VestMed masterclasses and VestMed training programs for different clinical backgrounds will be explored, the authors noted. Joseph M. Furman, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vestibular Research, envisions that these efforts might eventually result in an online hub of evidence-based teaching materials customized to the level of knowledge, skills, and attitudes of each clinical specialty and profession.
“The developers of the BS-VestMed-Cur hope this curriculum will cross-fertilize clinical practice and stimulate transitional research in the vestibular field,” Dr. Furman added.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Full open access study: “Curriculum for Vestibular Medicine (VestMed) proposed by the Bárány Society: The concept of Vestibular Medicine and the framework defining the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for proficiency in Vestibular Medicine” by R. van de Berg, L. Murdin, S.L. Whitney, J. Holmberg, and A. Bisdorff (DOI: 10.3233/VES-210095), published online in the Journal of Vestibular Research in advance of the publication of Volume 32, Issue 2. The open access article is available at: content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-vestibular-research/ves210095.
Accredited journalists can request the full text of the Curriculum or additional information from Carmel McNamara, IOS Press (firstname.lastname@example.org). Journalists wishing to interview the authors should contact Raymond van de Berg, MD, PhD (email@example.com) or Joseph M. Furman, MD, PhD (firstname.lastname@example.org).
About the Journal of Vestibular Research
The Journal of Vestibular Research (JVR) is the official journal of the Bárány Society. It is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes experimental and observational studies, review papers, theoretical papers based on current knowledge of the vestibular system, and letters to the Editor. JVR is proud to publish the Bárány Society's International Classification of Vestibular Disorders (ICVD) consensus documents, which formally define key vestibular disorders and represent consensus around these formalized definitions. The journal is published by IOS Press. jvr-web.org
About IOS Press
IOS Press is an independent international scientific, technical, medical (STM) publishing house established in 1987 in Amsterdam. We produce around 90 journals and 70 books annually in a broad range of subject categories, primarily specializing in biomedical and life sciences (including neurosciences, medical informatics, cancer research, rehabilitation) and physical sciences (including computer sciences, artificial intelligence, engineering). In addition, we offer specialized services that support scientific advancement. iospress.com