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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

The Cochrane Collaboration
The Epley (Canalith Repositioning) Manoeuvre for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Hilton, M.P., & Pinder, D.K. (2010).
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (9).

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is an update of 2004 review of randomized controlled trials investigating the effectiveness of the Epley manoeuvre (canalith repositioning) compared to other interventions for the treatment of individuals with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Question(s) Addressed:

What is the effectiveness of the Epley manoeuvre compared to other treatments available for posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or no treatment?

Population: Adults (ages greater than 16 years) with clinical diagnosis of BPPV.


Epley manoeuvre compared to one or more of the following:

  • placebo
  • medication
  • positional exercise
  • other canalith repositioning procedures
  • vestibular neurectomy
  • posterior semicircular canal obliteration surgery

Number of Studies Included: 5

Years Included: "no publication year or publication status restrictions"



  • Treatment
    • Repositioning Maneuvers
      • Evidence from five randomized controlled trials investigating the use of the Epley manoeuvre (canalith repositioning) compared to a sham manoeuvre found "a statistically significant effect in favor of the Epley manoeuvre" (p. 2).
      • Authors conclude that the Epley manoeuvre is a safe, effective treatment for BPPV in the short term. Further research is needed to determine its benefits in the long term or compared to other physical, medical or surgical conditions.

Keywords: Balance Disorders, BPPV, Vestibular Rehabilitation

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Added to Compendium: April 2012

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