Influence of Tasking During Vestibular Testing

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American journal of audiology


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of different types of tasking on the measurement of peak slow phase velocity (SPV) for caloric testing and rotary chair testing.

Method: This study evaluated the peak SPV response for caloric testing and rotary chair across five conditions. Three verbal, one tactile, and one condition without tasking were used for both caloric testing and rotary chair. The subjects consisted of 20 young adults (age range: 22-33 years, M = 26.65, SD = 3.72; seven male, 13 female) with normal vestibular function and no history of ear surgery or vestibular disorder. Study participation consisted of two visits with 24 hr minimum between each, one for caloric testing and one for rotary chair testing. The test completed at each visit was counterbalanced.

Caloric Testing: The caloric irrigations were performed 5 times, with the ears randomized and tasking conditions randomized.

Rotary Chair Testing: Rotary chair sinusoidal harmonic acceleration testing was performed 5 times at 0.08 Hz with the tasking conditions randomized.

Results: Tasking of any kind resulted in significantly larger peak SPV responses when compared to the no tasking condition for rotary chair testing. When comparing each type of tasking, no significant differences were noted. No significant difference was noted when comparing the conditions with tasking to the no tasking condition for caloric testing.

Conclusions: Clinically, either mental or tactile tasking can be utilized as a method to reduce VOR suppression during rotary chair testing. As no difference was found when comparing different verbal tasks to each other, the type of tasking can be catered to the patient. If verbal tasking cannot be completed, the braiding tactile task is a valid substitution. Caloric results varied widely across subjects and did not reach statistical significance, so conclusions on the need for tasking cannot be drawn.

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ePub ahead of print





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