The purpose of this critical literature analysis is to examine the current evidence for identification and treatment of pediatric patients between 3-12 years old with unilateral or bilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH or BVH respectively). Identifying specific and sensitive clinical measures in static balance, dynamic balance, and gaze stability. Followed by examination of preliminary therapeutic interventions addressing common deficits in this pediatric population. Children with SNHL demonstrate increased rates of vestibular hypofunction. These deficits warrant the use of valid clinical measures to assess static balance, dynamic balance, and gaze stability. The validated static balance assessment sensitive to vestibular hypofunction is the MCTSIB. Three of the four MCTSIB components: narrow base of support eyes closed, narrow base of support on foam eyes open, and narrow base of support eyes closed consistently identify impairments and should be utilized. Static examination of unilateral stance, with eyes open and closed, and dynamic balance assessment utilizing tandem walking have been shown to identify impairments, but have not been validated for vestibular hypofunction in this population. The Head Thrust Test has been validated and demonstrates high specificity for vestibular hypofunction in children with SNHL. Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA) demonstrates sensitive to vestibular hypofunction and addresses functional gaze stability with head movement. MCTSIB, HIT, & Dynamic Visual Acuity are affordable clinical measures which can be utilized to identify vestibular hypofunction in children with sensorineural loss.
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Level of Degree
Ron Andrews, PT, PhD, OCS
postural balance, sensorineural, gaze stability, deafness, vestibular rehabilitation, children
Tarango, Daniel. "Vestibular Rehabilitation for Children with Sensorineural Hearing Loss." (2018). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/dpt/134