Common Occupational Therapy Vision Rehabilitation Interventions for Impaired and Low Vision Associated with Brain Injury

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Background: Visual impairments secondary to traumatic brain injury (TBI) may include loss of acuity or visual field, convergence insufficiency, divergence insufficiency, strabismus, oculomotor dysfunction, or accommodative dysfunction. Neuro-ophthalmologists, neurooptometrists, and occupational therapists recognize the need for interprofessional visual rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury. This study identified common and current vision rehabilitation interventions utilized by occupational therapists for individuals with traumatic brain injury.

Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional design was used to survey occupational therapists; thirty five (N=35) participants recruited from hospitals and rehabilitation facilities met the inclusion criteria.

Results: One hundred percent of participants use compensatory strategies to address impaired visual acuity and visual field deficits; 100% of participants use neuroplasticity theory-based interventions for visual field deficits, 94.3% for oculomotor deficits, and 91.4% for impaired visual acuity.

Conclusions: Results indicate that compensatory strategies are the most common intervention used by occupational therapists to address visual impairments secondary to TBI, followed by neuroplasticity theory-based interventions. Evidence supports the effectiveness of compensatory strategies following assessment and consultation with neuro-ophthalmologists or neuro-optometrists.

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Optometry & Visual Performance