Volume 47 Number 3, 2010
Pages 233 — 242
Abstract — This study examined how user characteristics affect drop-off detection with the long cane. A mixed-measures design with block randomization was used for the study, in which 32 visually impaired adults attempted to detect the drop-offs using different cane techniques. Younger cane users detected drop-offs significantly more reliably (mean +/- standard deviation = 74.2% +/- 11.2% of the time) than older cane users (60.9% +/- 10.8%), p = 0.009. The drop-off detection threshold of the younger participants (5.2 +/- 2.1 cm) was also statistically significantly smaller than that of the older participants (7.9 +/- 2.2 cm), p = 0.007. Those with early-onset visual impairment (78.0% +/- 9.0%) also detected drop-offs significantly more reliably than those with later-onset visual impairment (67.3% +/- 12.4%), p = 0.01. No interaction occurred between examined user characteristics (age and age at onset of visual impairment) and the type of cane technique used in drop-off detection. The findings of the study may help orientation and mobility specialists select appropriate cane techniques in accordance with the cane user's age and onset of visual impairment.
Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:17 AM