Authors
Bittner, Ava Katherine OD, PhD, FAAO; Yoshinaga, Patrick OD, MPH, FAAO; Bowers, Angie MOT, OTR/L; Shepherd, John D. MD; Succar, Tony PhD, MSc; Ross, Nicole C. OD, MSc, FAAO

Feasibility of Telerehabilitation for Low Vision: Satisfaction Ratings by Providers and Patients

publication date
May 7, 2018
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

SIGNIFICANCE 

This pilot study demonstrated feasibility and acceptability of telerehabilitation between a provider in-office and a low vision patient at home as an approach to provide follow-up care to improve reading ability with magnification devices and that would help overcome barriers related to transportation and paucity of providers.

PURPOSE 

A recent systematic review found no publications with results on the topic of telerehabilitation for low vision. Our goal was to perform the initial steps to develop, administer, refine, and evaluate components required to deliver follow-up low vision telerehabilitation services.

METHODS 

Three low vision providers (ophthalmic technician or optometrist) conducted telerehabilitation sessions from their office with 10 visually impaired older adults in their homes, who recently received a handheld magnification device for reading and self-reported difficulty with returning for follow-up training at their provider's office. All except one participant had never used videoconferencing before our study, and three had never used the Internet. Participants and providers rated the use of loaner hardware devices (i.e., tablets, MiFi mobile hotspot) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act–compliant, secure videoconference services during telerehabilitation sessions at which participants read MNREAD cards and received feedback on magnifier use.


Conclusion/Results

RESULTS 

Providers reported little to no difficulty with evaluating participants' reading speed, reading accuracy, and working distance with their magnifier. Both providers and participants rated video quality as excellent to good. Audio quality ratings were variable, generally related to signal strength or technical issues during some sessions. All participants agreed that they were satisfied and comfortable receiving telerehabilitation and evaluation via videoconferencing. Eight of 10 reported that their magnifier use improved after telerehabilitation. All except one reported that they were very interested in receiving telerehabilitation services again if their visual needs change.

CONCLUSIONS 

Positive feedback from both participants and providers in this pilot study supports the feasibility, acceptability, and potential value of low vision telerehabilitation.


Testimonials


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.


Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.


Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!


Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!


Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!


Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!


Alice M.
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