Reliability and Normative Data for the Dynamic Visual Acuity Test for Vestibular Screening

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Hypothesis: The purpose of this study was to determine reliability of computerized dynamic visual acuity (DVA) testing and to determine reference values for younger and older adults.

Background: A primary function of the vestibular system is to maintain gaze stability during head motion. The DVA test quantifies gaze stabilization with the head moving versus stationary. Commercially available computerized systems allow clinicians to incorporate DVA into their assessment; however, information regarding reliability and normative values of these systems is sparse.

Methods: Forty-six healthy adults, grouped by age, with normal vestibular function were recruited. Each participant completed computerized DVA testing including static visual acuity, minimum perception time, and DVA using the NeuroCom inVision System. Testing was performed by two examiners in the same session and then repeated at a follow-up session 3 to 14 days later. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to determine inter-rater and test–retest reliability.

Results: ICCs for inter-rater reliability ranged from 0.323 to 0.937 and from 0.434 to 0.909 for horizontal and vertical head movements, respectively. ICCs for test–retest reliability ranged from 0.154 to 0.856 and from 0.377 to 0.9062 for horizontal and vertical head movements, respectively. Overall, raw scores (left/right DVA and up/down DVA) were more reliable than DVA loss scores.

Conclusion: Reliability of a commercially available DVA system has poor-to-fair reliability for DVA loss scores. The use of a convergence paradigm and not incorporating the forced choice paradigm may contribute to poor reliability.