Orientation and mobility outcome measures

Kuo yi Jade Chang, Lisa Lorraine Dillon, Lil Deverell, Mei Ying Boon, Lisa Keay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Despite orientation and mobility (O&M) being a significant factor determining quality of life of people with low vision or blindness, there are no gold standard measures or agreement on how to measure O&M performance. In the first part of this systematic review, an inventory of O&M outcome measures used by recent studies to assess the performance of orientation and/or mobility of adults with vision impairment (low vision and blindness) is presented. A wide variety of O&M outcome measures have been implemented in different fields of study, such as epidemiologic research and interventional studies evaluating training, assistive technology, vision rehabilitation and vision restoration. The most frequent aspect of outcome measures is efficiency such as time, distance, speed and percentage of preferred walking speed, followed by obstacle contacts and avoidance, and dis/orientation and veering. Other less commonly used aspects are target identification, safety and social interaction and self-reported outcome measures. Some studies employ sophisticated equipment to capture and analyse O&M performance in a laboratory setting, while others carry out their assessment in real-world indoor or outdoor environments. In the second part of this review, the appropriateness of implementing the identified outcome measures to assess O&M performance in clinical and functional O&M practice is evaluated. Nearly a half of these outcome measures meet all four criteria of face validity (either clinical or functional), responsiveness, reliability and feasibility and have the potential to be implemented in clinical or functional O&M practice. The findings of this review confirm the complicated and dynamic nature of O&M. Multiple measures are required in any evaluation of O&M performance to facilitate holistic assessment of O&M abilities and limitations of each individual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-448
Number of pages15
JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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