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Test to be performed - Vibration
Vibration tests the individual’s ability to perceive vibration at 128 Hz.

Expected findings - The individual will be able to indicate, without hesitation, when a vibratory stimulus is being applied and when it is stopped.

Equipment - 128 Hz tuning fork

Testing procedure

  1. Explain the procedure to the patient with his/her eyes open. For example, “I am going to touch various parts of your body, such as your finger, behind your ear, on your knee, etc. with this tuning fork. Sometimes it will be vibrating, and sometimes it will be still. I want you to tell me when it is vibrating, and if you feel it vibrating, I want you to tell me when you feel it stop vibrating.”
  2. Demonstrate the procedure with the patient’s eyes open until the patient understands the procedure to be performed.
  3. The patient closes his/her eyes, or vision is otherwise occluded.
  4. Earphones or ear plugs may be used to help limit auditory cues.
  5. Place the base of the tuning fork on bony prominences throughout the head and limbs, sometimes vibrating and sometimes not, varying the time and order between stimuli to avoid developing a pattern. When applicable, strike the tuning fork with a force strong enough to cause vibration, and always hold the tuning fork by the base.
  6. Have the patient identify if the tuning fork is vibrating or not vibrating.
  7. When the patient perceives the stimulus to be vibrating, the health care practitioner stops the vibration by touching the vibrating fork, and the patient indicates when they can no longer perceive the vibration.
  8. Document findings.
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Section: Vibration
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