The feasibility and effects of eye movement training for visual field loss after stroke: a mixed methods study

Christine Hazelton*, Alex Pollock, Diane Dixon, Ann Taylor, Bridget Davis, Glyn Walsh, Marian C. Brady

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Visual field loss affects around 20% of stroke survivors, reducing quality of life (QoL). Eye movement training is a promising rehabilitation method, and several different interventions are used by Occupational Therapists. This study aimed to explore the feasibility and effects of four eye movement training interventions for stroke survivors with visual field loss.
Methods: Design Mixed Methods - quantitative n-of-1 with qualitative interviews.
Participants: Eleven home-dwelling stroke survivors with visual field loss.
Interventions: MyHappyNeuron, NVT, Rainbow Readers and VISIOcoach, delivered in randomised order.
Data Collection: visual search, reading speed, ADL and QoL were assessed three times before intervention use, then immediately after each intervention: these were analysed visually. A final semi-structured interview was then analysed using framework methods.
Results: Evidence of effect was divergent. Quantitatively there was no measured effect, but qualitatively participants reported benefits on visual skills, daily life skills and emotions, which varied by intervention.  Median training time was 3-4 hours (range 0.5-6.5) for NVT, Rainbow Readers, and MyHappyNeuron, and 9.5 hours (range 2.3-16.8) for VISIOcoach.
Conclusion: Eye movement training interventions were feasible for stroke survivors at home. Qualitative evidence suggests that variations in the eye movements trained and the delivery modality underlie variations in perceived effect.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Early online date2 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • stroke
  • visual field loss
  • rehabilitation
  • mixed methods

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