Drop-Off Detection With the Long Cane: Effects of Different Cane Techniques on PerformanceBy Kim, Dae Shik; Emerson, Robert Wall; Curtis, Amy; Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, Vol. 103, No. 9, pp. 519-530
Publication Date: September 2009
Study compared drop-off detection performance with the two-point touch and constant contact cane techniques in cane users with visual impairments. The two-point touch technique consists of swinging the cane from side to side and tapping the edges of one’s walking path on either side in an arc slightly wider than one’s shoulders, while the constant contact technique involves sweeping the cane from side to side and keeping the cane tip in contact with the surface at all times. Study participants were 10 men and 5 women with visual impairments, aged 20 to 61 years. Each participant completed 8 trials with a marshmallow tipped graphite rigid long cane for each of 4 drop-off depths ranging from 1 to 7 inches using each cane technique, for a total of 64 trials per participant. Block randomization was used to select the drop-off depth for each trial. Outcome measures were drop-off detection rate and 50-percent drop-off detection threshold, the latter being defined as the smallest drop-off depth that can be detected at least 50 percent of the time. Results showed the constant contact technique to be superior to the two-point touch technique in both the drop-off detection rate and the 50-point detection threshold. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )