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Evaluation of a low vision training programme

Culham, Louise Ellen; (1991) Evaluation of a low vision training programme. Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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In some countries, notably the United States and Sweden, intensive training is considered an important adjunct to low vision services in the rehabilitation of the visually handicapped. Recently, such training has been introduced into the United Kingdom. Central to many of the programmes for reading are the techniques of eccentric viewing (EV) and steady eye strategy (SES). Although the techniques have been available for the last 15 years and their justification is widely accepted, to date they have not been validated by scientific studies. Two studies were designed to test the hypothesis that intensive training improves the near vision performance with an optical magnifier. Patients with a severe central defect due to age-related macular degeneration were recruited to study "A" (N=57), and patients with a less severe defect to study "B" (N=43). One training and two comparison groups were used in each study. During initial training, 43% of patients believed that EV would be helpful for simple tasks. However, eight months later, only 6.3% in study "A" and 10% in study "B" considered that they had used EV regularly and successfully for reading. The SES had been beneficial to 12.5% in "A" and 0% in "B". There was no significant difference in the near vision performance between the group of trained patients and the comparison groups. A depression index, assessed by the General Health Questionnaire, correlated with neither the method of management nor visual performance for patients in study "A". This is the first time that a trial of this type has been undertaken. It shows that standard management is as effective as training in the rehabilitation of patients. Since standard management is less time consuming it is more cost efficient. These conclusions are relevant to a service for which there is a high requirement and low provision in the United Kingdom.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: Evaluation of a low vision training programme
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Health and environmental sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123756
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