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Brief Report  |   January 2014
Research Opportunities in the Area of Older Adults With Low Vision
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Vision / Research Opportunities
Brief Report   |   January 2014
Research Opportunities in the Area of Older Adults With Low Vision
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2014, Vol. 68, 109-110. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.681002
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2014, Vol. 68, 109-110. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.681002
Abstract

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Evidence-Based Practice Project has developed a table summarizing the research opportunities on older adults with low vision. The table provides an overview of the state of current available evidence on interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice and is based on the systematic reviews from the AOTA Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines Series. Researchers, students, and clinicians can use this information in developing innovative research to answer important questions within the occupational therapy field.

Planning a research project requires consideration of many factors. Level of interest and knowledge in a specific area, access to appropriate populations of participants, support of mentors and other researchers, and funding availability all help determine the focus of a future project. An additional component to be considered is whether adequate, up-to-date research has already been completed on a topic; if sufficient evidence is available in a given core area, this area might not be the best choice for another research project.
The best research topic may be one in which either little research has been done or the research to date is insufficient, inconclusive, or mixed. In addition, when research conducted to date provides a low level of evidence and is of limited quality, additional high-quality research in the area is needed.
The Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision provides an overview of the state of current available evidence on interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice. The table is based on the systematic reviews from the AOTA Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines Series. The table lists specific interventions and indicates either that the evidence is sufficient to support the intervention or that moderate, mixed, or few studies support the intervention and therefore it is a priority research area. Please refer to Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Older Adults With Low Vision (Kaldenberg & Smallfield, 2013) and the American Journal of Occupational Therapy Special Issue on the Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Older Adults With Low Vision (Berger, 2013) for more information on the topic area and the systematic review process.
This table also is posted online for researchers to use to inform the occupational therapy community about their work. The table is linked to Google Drive and offers a place for researchers to include information on recently completed and ongoing research. It is hoped that this information will make the research planning process easier, minimize duplication of research efforts, and stimulate discussions among researchers with similar interests, which can then facilitate the creation of research networks and multisite studies. Researchers, students, and clinicians can use this information in developing innovative research to answer important questions within the occupational therapy field. To add current or ongoing research to the table, visit http://www.aota.org/researchopportunitiestables.
Researchers are also encouraged to enter their projects into AOTA’s Researcher Database at http://myaota.aota.org/research/. This database provides AOTA with information such as relevant clinical settings and populations, International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health level (World Health Organization, 2001), funder (if any), and key words to help guide research advocacy and policy initiatives.
Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision
Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision×
Specific InterventionStrength of Evidence
Problem-solving strategies to increase participation in ADL and IADL tasks and leisure and social participationResearch sufficient
Multicomponent patient education and training to improve occupational performanceResearch sufficient
Increased illumination to improve reading performancePriority research area
Increased illumination to improve social participationPriority research area
Stand-based magnification systems to increase reading speed and durationPriority research area
Patient education programs to improve self-regulation in driving and community mobilityPriority research area
Bioptics to improve simulated and on-road driving skills and outdoor mobility skillsPriority research area
Contrast, typeface, type size, and spacing to improve legibility and readability of printPriority research area
Contrast (e.g., yellow marking tape, colored filters, white plate on black placemat) to improve participation in occupationsPriority research area
Eccentric viewing in combination with instruction in magnification to improve readingPriority research area
Eccentric viewing using specific software programs for near vision and ADLsPriority research area
Optical magnifiers vs. head-mounted magnification systems to improve reading speedPriority research area
Sensory substitution strategies (e.g., talking books) to maintain engagement in desired occupationsPriority research area
Covered overlays to provide contrast and improve reading performancePriority research area
Spectacle reading glasses to improve reading performancePriority research area
Organizational strategies to compensate for vision lossPriority research area
Table Footer NoteNote. ADL = activity of daily living; IADL = instrumental activity of daily living.
Note. ADL = activity of daily living; IADL = instrumental activity of daily living.×
Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision
Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision×
Specific InterventionStrength of Evidence
Problem-solving strategies to increase participation in ADL and IADL tasks and leisure and social participationResearch sufficient
Multicomponent patient education and training to improve occupational performanceResearch sufficient
Increased illumination to improve reading performancePriority research area
Increased illumination to improve social participationPriority research area
Stand-based magnification systems to increase reading speed and durationPriority research area
Patient education programs to improve self-regulation in driving and community mobilityPriority research area
Bioptics to improve simulated and on-road driving skills and outdoor mobility skillsPriority research area
Contrast, typeface, type size, and spacing to improve legibility and readability of printPriority research area
Contrast (e.g., yellow marking tape, colored filters, white plate on black placemat) to improve participation in occupationsPriority research area
Eccentric viewing in combination with instruction in magnification to improve readingPriority research area
Eccentric viewing using specific software programs for near vision and ADLsPriority research area
Optical magnifiers vs. head-mounted magnification systems to improve reading speedPriority research area
Sensory substitution strategies (e.g., talking books) to maintain engagement in desired occupationsPriority research area
Covered overlays to provide contrast and improve reading performancePriority research area
Spectacle reading glasses to improve reading performancePriority research area
Organizational strategies to compensate for vision lossPriority research area
Table Footer NoteNote. ADL = activity of daily living; IADL = instrumental activity of daily living.
Note. ADL = activity of daily living; IADL = instrumental activity of daily living.×
×
Acknowledgments
AOTA acknowledges the work of Matthew Bernardo, Stacia Matthews, and Melissa Stutzbach, who participated in the development of the Research Opportunities tables while they were fieldwork students and emerging leaders at the American Occupational Therapy Association in Bethesda, MD. This work is based on the American Journal of Occupational Therapy Special Issue on the Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Interventions for Older Adults With Low Vision (Berger, 2013) and the Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Older Adults With Low Vision (Kaldenberg & Smallfield, 2013), all from the AOTA Evidence-Based Practice Project.
References
Berger, S. (Ed.). (2013). Effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for older adults living with low vision [Special issue]. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(3).
Berger, S. (Ed.). (2013). Effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for older adults living with low vision [Special issue]. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67(3).×
Kaldenberg, J., & Smallfield, S. (2013). Occupational therapy practice guidelines for older adults with low vision. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.
Kaldenberg, J., & Smallfield, S. (2013). Occupational therapy practice guidelines for older adults with low vision. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.×
World Health Organization. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health. Geneva: Author.
World Health Organization. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health. Geneva: Author.×
Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision
Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision×
Specific InterventionStrength of Evidence
Problem-solving strategies to increase participation in ADL and IADL tasks and leisure and social participationResearch sufficient
Multicomponent patient education and training to improve occupational performanceResearch sufficient
Increased illumination to improve reading performancePriority research area
Increased illumination to improve social participationPriority research area
Stand-based magnification systems to increase reading speed and durationPriority research area
Patient education programs to improve self-regulation in driving and community mobilityPriority research area
Bioptics to improve simulated and on-road driving skills and outdoor mobility skillsPriority research area
Contrast, typeface, type size, and spacing to improve legibility and readability of printPriority research area
Contrast (e.g., yellow marking tape, colored filters, white plate on black placemat) to improve participation in occupationsPriority research area
Eccentric viewing in combination with instruction in magnification to improve readingPriority research area
Eccentric viewing using specific software programs for near vision and ADLsPriority research area
Optical magnifiers vs. head-mounted magnification systems to improve reading speedPriority research area
Sensory substitution strategies (e.g., talking books) to maintain engagement in desired occupationsPriority research area
Covered overlays to provide contrast and improve reading performancePriority research area
Spectacle reading glasses to improve reading performancePriority research area
Organizational strategies to compensate for vision lossPriority research area
Table Footer NoteNote. ADL = activity of daily living; IADL = instrumental activity of daily living.
Note. ADL = activity of daily living; IADL = instrumental activity of daily living.×
Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision
Research Opportunities Table on Older Adults With Low Vision×
Specific InterventionStrength of Evidence
Problem-solving strategies to increase participation in ADL and IADL tasks and leisure and social participationResearch sufficient
Multicomponent patient education and training to improve occupational performanceResearch sufficient
Increased illumination to improve reading performancePriority research area
Increased illumination to improve social participationPriority research area
Stand-based magnification systems to increase reading speed and durationPriority research area
Patient education programs to improve self-regulation in driving and community mobilityPriority research area
Bioptics to improve simulated and on-road driving skills and outdoor mobility skillsPriority research area
Contrast, typeface, type size, and spacing to improve legibility and readability of printPriority research area
Contrast (e.g., yellow marking tape, colored filters, white plate on black placemat) to improve participation in occupationsPriority research area
Eccentric viewing in combination with instruction in magnification to improve readingPriority research area
Eccentric viewing using specific software programs for near vision and ADLsPriority research area
Optical magnifiers vs. head-mounted magnification systems to improve reading speedPriority research area
Sensory substitution strategies (e.g., talking books) to maintain engagement in desired occupationsPriority research area
Covered overlays to provide contrast and improve reading performancePriority research area
Spectacle reading glasses to improve reading performancePriority research area
Organizational strategies to compensate for vision lossPriority research area
Table Footer NoteNote. ADL = activity of daily living; IADL = instrumental activity of daily living.
Note. ADL = activity of daily living; IADL = instrumental activity of daily living.×
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