Learning Effects and the Sensory Organization Test: Influence of a Unilateral Peripheral Vestibular Impairment Purpose Healthy young controls exhibit a learning effect after undergoing repeated administrations of the sensory organization test (SOT). The primary objective of the present experiment was to determine if an SOT learning effect is present in individuals with a unilateral vestibular impairment (UVI), and if so, whether it is different ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   October 22, 2018
Learning Effects and the Sensory Organization Test: Influence of a Unilateral Peripheral Vestibular Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathleen M. McNerney
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology, SUNY Buffalo State, NY
  • Mary Lou Coad
    Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, NY
  • Robert F. Burkard
    Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, NY
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Data collection and analysis was completed when the first author was working in the Department of Rehabilitation Science at the University at Buffalo.
    Data collection and analysis was completed when the first author was working in the Department of Rehabilitation Science at the University at Buffalo.×
  • Correspondence to Kathleen McNerney: mcnernkm@buffalostate.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar
    Editor-in-Chief: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar×
Article Information
Balance & Balance Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   October 22, 2018
Learning Effects and the Sensory Organization Test: Influence of a Unilateral Peripheral Vestibular Impairment
American Journal of Audiology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-17-0067
History: Received July 21, 2017 , Revised December 21, 2017 , Accepted April 18, 2018
 
American Journal of Audiology, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_AJA-17-0067
History: Received July 21, 2017; Revised December 21, 2017; Accepted April 18, 2018

Purpose Healthy young controls exhibit a learning effect after undergoing repeated administrations of the sensory organization test (SOT). The primary objective of the present experiment was to determine if an SOT learning effect is present in individuals with a unilateral vestibular impairment (UVI), and if so, whether it is different from healthy controls. The secondary objective was to determine if the learning effect is dependent on the time frame of repeated SOT assessments.

Method Eleven individuals diagnosed with a UVI and 11 controls underwent 6 repetitions of the SOT over 2 visits (3 per visit all within 1 week). A second control group underwent 3 SOT repetitions, with each repetition separated by 1 week, to evaluate the time course of the SOT learning effect.

Results No statistically significant differences were found between the UVI group and the control group. In addition, the magnitude of the learning effect was found to be similar regardless of the length of time that separated the repetitions.

Conclusions If the SOT is to be used as a measure of improvement, the learning effect should be exhausted (which typically occurs following the third administration) prior to the introduction of therapy. Future research should further investigate the results from those with other vestibular pathologies.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded through a New Century Scholars Research Grant received by the first author (K. M.) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. This study was presented orally by Robert Burkard at the 2014 American Balance Society Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. This study was presented as a poster by the first author (K. M.) at the 2017 Faculty and Staff Research and Creativity Fall Forum held on November 2, 2017, at SUNY Buffalo State.
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