Visual problems after stroke: a survey of current practice by occupational therapists working in UK stroke inpatient settings

Alex Pollock, Christine Hazelton, Marian Brady

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Abstract

Abstract
The primary aim of this study was to explore current practice related to assessments, protocols, referrals, and treatments for visual problems after stroke by occupational therapists (OTs) working in stroke inpatient settings in Scotland.

Methods: A questionnaire was designed to gather information about the respondent's stroke inpatient setting, the vision assessments and protocols used, treatments administered, referrals made, and barriers experienced. One named OT was identified from each stroke inpatient setting in Scotland. Each OT was sent an introductory letter and questionnaire (sent 1 to 3 weeks after introductory letter). Nonresponders were sent a second copy of the questionnaire (2 weeks after first questionnaire).

Results: Sixty-one OTs in stroke inpatient settings were sent a questionnaire; 55 (90%) were returned. Only 5 (9%) respondents reported that their unit had a protocol for visual problems after stroke. Forty-nine respondents (89%) reported that they would assess visual attention and visual scanning with every patient or regularly. Other assessments were used less frequently. Forty-five (82%) OTs report delivering treatment to patients with visual neglect and 38 (69%) for visual field problems. Only 6 (11%) OTs report delivering treatment to patients with eye movement problems. OTs' choice of treatment was similar regardless of the specific visual problem of the patient.

Discussion: OTs play a key role in the assessment and management of visual problems in patients after stroke. Protocols or management plans, clear referral pathways, guidelines, and further research are required to avoid inconsistencies in assessment, referral, and management of these patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-651
Number of pages9
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Volume18
Issue numberSuppl. 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2011

Keywords

  • stroke
  • visual problems
  • rehabilitation

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