Learning effects of repetitive administrations of the sensory organization test in healthy young adults

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Aug;88(8):1049-54. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.05.003.


Objectives: To evaluate the learning effect of multiple administrations of the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) on performance and to begin to establish clinical meaningful change scores for the SOT.

Design: Descriptive case series.

Setting: University-affiliated clinic.

Participants: Healthy young adults (6 men, 7 women; mean age, 24+/-4y).

Intervention: All subjects performed the standardized SOT using the SMART EquiTest 5 times over a 2-week period, and 1 month later.

Main outcome measure: Composite and individual SOT test condition standardized equilibrium scores.

Results: Test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient model 2,3) of the composite (.67) and equilibrium score (range, .35-.79) were fair to good. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a significant (P<.05) increase in the composite and equilibrium scores for conditions 4, 5, and 6 over the 5 sessions that plateaued after the third session, and were retained at 1 month. The 95% confidence interval for the composite score change from session 1 to session 4, the plateau of the learning effect, was 3.9 to 8.1.

Conclusions: Although the findings of this study would indicate that multiple baseline measures are desirable for the more challenging conditions, a composite change of greater than 8 points would indicate change due to rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knowledge of Results, Psychological
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Postural Balance*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Practice, Psychological*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Serial Learning*