Skip to main content


What it measures:

The head thrust test is used to identify individuals with hypofunction of the vestibulo-ocular reflex unilaterally and bilaterally.

Target Population:

The test can be used to assess the angular vestibulo-ocular reflex in patients with concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and vestibular disorders.

Specific populations studied include:

  • Unilateral vestibular loss s/p neurectomy (Halmagyi, Curthoys, 1988),
  • Unilateral and bilateral vestibular hypofunction (Kremmyda, et al., 2012; Jorns-Haderli, Straumann, & Palla, 2007)
  • Vestibular hypofunction with cerebellar ataxia (Schubert et al., 2004)
  • Vestibular neuritis, Meniere disease, s/p unilateral intratympanic gentamicin, vestibular loss s/p gentamicin vestibulotoxicity (MacDougall, et al., 2009)
  • Patients presenting with dizziness (Harvey, Wood, & Feroah, 1997)

Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Multiple Sclerosis Taskforce, Parkinson’s Taskforce, Spinal Cord Injury Task Force, Stroke Task Force, Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force, and Vestibular Taskforce.  These recommendations were developed by a panel of research and clinical experts using a modified Delphi process.

You Might Also Like...


Vestibular Rehabilitation for Peripheral Vestibular Hypofunction: An Updated Clinical Practice Guideline From the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy of the American Physical Therapy Association (CPG+)

Apr 1, 2022

Updated guidelines on how to optimize rehabilitation outcomes for persons with peripheral vestibular hypofunction undergoing vestibular rehabilitation.


Clinical Practice Guideline: Meniere’s Disease

Apr 8, 2020

This clinical practice guideline includes a statement that defines the role of vestibular rehabilitation and physical therapy in the management of patients

Clinical Summary

Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction (UVH)

Jun 27, 2017

This clinical summary provides the clinician with information to care for individuals with UVH across the Patient-Client Management model.