Sandra Winner, Hon K. Yuen, Laura K. Vogtle, Mary Warren; Factors Associated With Comfort Level of Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Providing Low Vision Services. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(1):96-101. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2014.009142.
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. We describe the perceived adequacy of educational preparation for and comfort level of occupational therapy practitioners in providing services to clients with low vision and identify factors associated with the practitioners’ comfort level.
METHOD. One hundred occupational therapists who were not specialists in low vision rehabilitation completed a survey.
RESULTS. Fifty-two percent of the respondents perceived that they had received adequate preparation in occupational therapy school to address low vision. Between 54% and 63% of respondents were comfortable performing visual screening and providing interventions for clients with low vision. Multivariable analyses indicated that having received adequate preparation in occupational therapy school, having a partnership with an eye-care professional, and having provided services to a larger percentage of clients with low vision were significantly associated with perceived comfort in providing services to this population.
CONCLUSION. Findings provide an initial direction to improve low vision content in occupational therapy education curricula.
Given that the respondents’ comfort level in providing low vision services was associated with perceived preparation in occupational therapy school and partnership with an eye-care professional, we suggest that low vision content in the entry-level occupational therapy curriculum include strategies on how to identify and partner with eye-care professionals who may assist practitioners in providing better quality services for clients with low vision.
Along with expanded low vision content in entry-level occupational therapy curriculum, it is also important for practitioners to seek out continuing education opportunities in low vision.
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