Travel behavior of blind individuals before and after receiving orientation and mobility training (Phase 2: Full-scale Study)
This study devised, tested, and refined a new method for assessing O&M training involving Global Positioning System (GPS) data loggers and accelerometers to collect objective, quantitative, and valid measures of blind individuals’ travel behavior, physical activity pre- and post-O&M training.
The researchers found that the perceived difficulty with mobility among study participants, measured by the aggregate DMQ-23 score, was significantly lower after receiving O&M training indicating enhanced confidence in their mobility skills once they received the training. Small but statistically significant increases in trip distances and durations were found after the training, as measured via more objective measures gleaned from GPS and accelerometer data although no significant gains were observed among study participants in terms of more general physical activity.
Pooled Objective Travel Behavior (i.e., Trip) and Physical Activity Mean Values Before (Pre-) and After (Post-) Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Training
DMQ-23 Difficulty with Mobility Questionnaire Mean Scores Before (Pre-) and After (Post-) Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Training
The results of this study are consistent with the findings of some of the previous studies in that subjective measures of physical activity, including walking in the community, and actual physical activity level do not tend to correlate closely with each other. It is possible that lack of readily available public transit system where the participants resided prevented them from attempting to travel to places that are meaningful to them even after receiving an O&M training.