Examining practice effects in repeated measurements of vibration perception thresholds on finger pulps of healthy individuals – Is it possible to improve your results over a clinically relevant test interval?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims To investigate practice effects in a test-retest situation, where vibration perception thresholds (VPT) were measured in healthy subjects using a multi-frequency test method. Methods In eight consecutive tests, VPTs were tested in the pulps of the index and little fingers at seven frequencies (8, 16, 32, 64, 125, 250 and 500 Hz). Subjects were twenty healthy adults aged 26 to 65 years (mean 46.0 ± 11.1 years; 10 male and 10 female). The subjects were examined at six tests with intervals of one month (mean 33 ± 6; time 0 to month 5) and at two additional tests with prolonged intervals (month 12 and 18). Linear mixed model analysis was performed to investigate differences over the subsequent test occasions. To examine where potential practice effects occurred, a pairwise comparison with Bonferroni correction was made. Results Small decreases in VPTs were found in 8 out of the 14 frequencies (index finger: 8, 16, 32, 250 and 500 Hz; little finger: 16, 250 and 500 Hz) within the test period from time 0 to month 5. In tests at 12 and 18 months, VPTs were increased compared to month 5, but lowered in comparison with time 0. Hence, minor significant decreases were found in three frequencies for the index finger (125, 250 and 500 Hz) and one frequency for the little finger (250 Hz) when examining VPTs with prolonged time intervals. Conclusions When evaluating vibration perception thresholds in a clinically relevant time period of once or twice a year, no consideration of practice effects is necessary when interpreting the results.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physiology
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0226371
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch