Investigation of mobility levels in visually impaired children: a pilot study

Uysal S. A. , AKI E.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF PHYSIOTHERAPY REHABILITATION-FIZYOTERAPI REHABILITASYON, vol.20, no.3, pp.201-206, 2009 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Page Numbers: pp.201-206


Purpose: The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the mobility level functions in children with visual impairment. Material and methods: The study included 30 normal vision subjects whose ages were 9.36+/-2.39 years, 30 low vision subjects whose ages were 9.42+/-2.37 years and 30 total blind children whose ages were 9.41+/-2.18 years. Independent Mobility Questionnaire was performed on all the children. Results: When the levels of mobility was compared among the groups, children with normal vision got significantly better test scores than the low vision and total blind groups (p< 0.05). Nevertheless, significant differences were not found between low vision and blind children's mobility levels. Conclusion: According to the results of this study, we found that mobility skills were affected by every level of loss of visual function. Visual input and experiences which will be used during life are especially gained in the first 8-10 years and children in our study group were still in their learning stage. Therefore, inadequate visual sensory inputs could cause mobility problems which could affect their lives. Also the Independent Mobility Questionnaire is a useful evaluation tool for visually impaired children as it can be applied in a short time and includes different mobility activities. As the visually impaired children need help in their activities, the questionnaire was not found to be sensitive enough to evaluate the activities that need help. However, no alternative method exists in the literature, so we believe that the questionnaire is important as it can provide information about visually impaired children's mobility levels.