The impact of vision loss on postural stability and balance strategies in individuals with profound vision loss

Gait Posture. 2008 Jul;28(1):58-61. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2007.09.010. Epub 2007 Nov 26.


Individuals with vision loss are at an increased risk of falls. Understanding what factors contribute to postural instability within this population is a necessary step towards the development of physiotherapeutic programs targeted at reduction of falls within this population. Forty-six age-matched participants were evaluated with the sensory organization test (SOT) on a NeuroCom Equitest. The conditions provided accurate and inaccurate sensory information to test the participants' ability to utilize the correct information to maintain postural stability. A one-way analysis of variance was performed on composite balance scores between groups. Based on the data analysis, significant differences were apparent in equilibrium composite scores (P<.05) and strategy utilized to maintain postural stability between the visually impaired and sighted sample. Results indicate that restricted vision has a negative impact on overall postural stability and visually impaired individuals utilize greater use of hip strategy to maintain postural stability.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blindness / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Visually Impaired Persons