New portable tool to screen vestibular and visual function--National Institutes of Health Toolbox initiative

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(2):209-20. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2010.12.0239.


As part of the National Institutes of Health Toolbox initiative, we developed a low-cost, easy-to-administer, and time-efficient test of vestibular and visual function. A computerized test of dynamic visual acuity (cDVA) was used to measure the difference in visual acuity between head still and moving in yaw. Participants included 318 individuals, aged 3 to 85 years (301 without and 17 with vestibular pathology). Adults used Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) optotypes; children used ETDRS, Lea, and HOTV optotypes. Bithermal calorics, rotational chair, and light box testing were used to validate the cDVA. Analysis revealed that the cDVA test is reliable for static (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] >/= 0.64) and dynamic (ICC >/= 0.43-0.75) visual acuity. Children younger than 6 years old were more likely to complete cDVA with Lea optotypes, but reliability and correlation with ETDRS was better using HOTV optotypes. The high correlation between static acuity and light box test scores (r = 0.795), significant difference of cDVA scores between those with and without pathology (p </= 0.04), and the good to excellent sensitivity (73%) and specificity (69%) establish that the cDVA is a valid and reliable measure of visual acuity when the head is still and moving, as well as a good proxy of vestibular function to yaw rotation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United States
  • Vestibular Function Tests / instrumentation*
  • Vestibular Function Tests / methods
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth
  • Vision Screening / instrumentation*
  • Vision Screening / methods
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Young Adult