Reliability of a widely used test of peripheral cutaneous vibration sensitivity and a comparison of two testing protocols.
Br J Ind Med 1988 Sep; 45(9):635-639
Tests were carried out to investigate the reliability and time efficiency of two testing protocols for the determination of cutaneous vibration sensitivity. Twenty two healthy volunteers were tested using the Vibratron-II and two psychophysical procedures, the forced choice (SFC) and the method of limits (MOL). Both methods were performed on the same subjects on two occasions to compare their reliability and time efficiency. None of the subjects had a history of serious medical illness. Vibration thresholds determined by the SFC procedure were substantially lower than those determined by the MOL. The correlation of vibration thresholds between the two sessions, an index of the method's reliability, was much higher for the MOL than the SFC procedure. The SFC procedure took about twice as long to administer as the MOL procedure. The average vibration threshold was slightly lower in the second MOL session when compared with the first, suggesting some systematic criterion shift between occasions, perhaps related to learning about how to respond. The difference in mean vibration threshold between sessions for the SFC procedure was negligible. The authors conclude that the current widespread uncritical acceptance of forced choice procedures as preferable to the method of limits may be unwarranted. The authors recommend a method of limits procedure when the severity of the disease in the population being tested is mild to moderate and when the subjects are able to understand and comply with the instructions.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Neurotoxic-effects; Diagnostic-tests; Vibration-exposure; Vibration-disease; Sensory-perceptual-processes; Sensory-disorders
Community Medicine Mount Sinai School of Medicine One Gustave L Levy Place New York, N Y 10029
Neurotoxic Disorders; Neurotoxic-effects
British Journal of Industrial Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York