Preferred Name

Ellen M. Jones

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Erin G. Piker

Christopher G. Clinard

Jaime B. Lee


Diabetes mellitus (DM) encompasses a group of metabolic diseases that result in high blood sugar (i.e., hyperglycemia). By 2030, it is anticipated that 578 million adults worldwide will have DM, with this number growing at a faster rate in developed areas of the world.[27] If left uncontrolled, DM can cause considerable damage to several areas of the body, including the heart, kidneys, nerves, and ears. When focusing exclusively on the ears, there has been markedly less research on the vestibular system when compared to the auditory system, even though DM is a known risk factor for falling. The purpose of this study was to understand the current state of knowledge regarding DM and vestibular function and to identify gaps in knowledge that need to be explored. A scoping review of the literature was performed and reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) standards.[51] Search terms included medical subject headings (MeSH terms) and keywords related to DM and vestibular function. In total, 326 papers were retrieved and 43 articles met inclusion/exclusion criteria for extensive review. Findings show that studies performed on the vestibular system tend to have smaller sample sizes, inconsistent test batteries, and variable results. There is some evidence to suggest Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) may be more prevalent in individuals with DM, but the exact percentage of those impacted is unknown. The duration and severity of DM was also found to have a significant impact on vestibular test results. As DM becomes more prevalent in our society, it is essential a standardized test battery be developed to more efficiently evaluate and diagnose vestibular disorders in this population. Findings from this study may help develop a narrower research question which could be used to conduct a systematic review. Findings from this study may also assist in the development of a randomized control trial (RCT) involving individuals with DM.



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