Development and validation of a questionnaire for assessing visual and auditory spatial localization abilities in dual sensory impairment

Sci Rep. 2024 Apr 4;14(1):7911. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-58363-6.


Spatial localization is important for social interaction and safe mobility, and relies heavily on vision and hearing. While people with vision or hearing impairment compensate with their intact sense, people with dual sensory impairment (DSI) may require rehabilitation strategies that take both impairments into account. There is currently no tool for assessing the joint effect of vision and hearing impairment on spatial localization in this large and increasing population. To this end, we developed a novel Dual Sensory Spatial Localization Questionnaire (DS-SLQ) that consists of 35 everyday spatial localization tasks. The DS-SLQ asks participants about their difficulty completing different tasks using only vision or hearing, as well as the primary sense they rely on for each task. We administered the DS-SLQ to 104 participants with heterogenous vision and hearing status. Rasch analysis confirmed the psychometric validity of the DS-SLQ and the feasibility of comparing vision and hearing spatial abilities in a unified framework. Vision and hearing impairment were associated with decreased visual and auditory spatial abilities. Differences between vision and hearing abilities predicted overall sensory reliance patterns. In DSI rehabilitation, DS-SLQ may be useful for measuring vision and hearing spatial localization abilities and predicting the better sense for completing different spatial localization tasks.

MeSH terms

  • Hearing
  • Hearing Loss* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Spatial Navigation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Disorders / epidemiology