Research Article  |   April 2015
Client and Therapist Perspectives on the Influence of Low Vision and Chronic Conditions on Performance and Occupational Therapy Intervention
Author Affiliations
  • Beth A. Barstow, PhD, OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham; bbarstow@uab.edu
  • Mary Warren, PhD, OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Swetal Thaker, MS, OTR/L, is Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Allison Hallman, MS, OTR/L, is Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Penelope Batts, MS, OTR/L, is Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Vision / Productive Aging
Research Article   |   April 2015
Client and Therapist Perspectives on the Influence of Low Vision and Chronic Conditions on Performance and Occupational Therapy Intervention
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2015, Vol. 69, 6903270010p1-6903270010p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.014605
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2015, Vol. 69, 6903270010p1-6903270010p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.014605
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We explored how vision loss and comorbid chronic conditions influence occupational therapy intervention by gathering perspectives from occupational therapists treating clients with low vision and from older adults with low vision.

METHOD. We surveyed 59 occupational therapists on the frequency of comorbidities in their clients and their influence on low vision intervention. Eight older adults with low vision participated in in-depth interviews and observations on the influence of low vision and comorbidities on their occupational performance. Conclusions reflect data analysis from both methods.

RESULTS. The occupational therapists modified low vision interventions to address the added effect of each comorbidity. Modifications included more treatment sessions, home visits, referrals to other professions, and provision of strategies to address comorbidities. The older adults viewed vision loss as a stronger influence than comorbidities on independence in daily occupations.

CONCLUSION. Both vision loss and comorbidities influence occupational performance, supporting the need for interventions to address both conditions.