WESC publishes report in British Journal of Visual Impairment

WESC student using a VisiLift screen with the aim to improve his functional vision
WESC student using a VisiLift screen with the aim to improve his functional vision

WESC Foundation has recently published a report in the British Journal of Visual Impairment. This report takes information from over one hundred scientific studies to summarise what we know about Visual Field Loss (VFL) caused by problems with how the brain processes vision. The report focuses on the evidence supporting the use of simple interventions to aid rehabilitation and habilitation programmes for children and young people with the condition.

The report discusses the results of many scientific studies that have investigated rehabilitation programmes for adults with VFL. These programmes are broadly thought of as either restitution therapy, compensatory training, or sensory supplementation. Restitution therapy aims to restore the lost visual field, compensatory training aims to adapt behaviour to improve functional vision, and sensory supplementation involves using optical aids such as prisms to improve functional vision. There is evidence that compensatory training is more effective than other therapies for adults with VFL, and that improvements are not dependent on age for younger and older adults. However, very few studies have investigated how effective compensatory training is for children and young people.

The report concludes that more high quality studies are required to understand the impact of VFL on children and young people, and more evidence is required to determine whether rehabilitation and habilitation programmes are effective for them. Many complex processes interact in the brain to generate our perception of vision and it is important to identify which processes can be trained with rehabilitation and habilitation programmes to improve functional vision.

To read the full report click here

“This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use and is not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the British Journal of Visual Impairment (vol.35, iss.3, pp.197-210, (August 23, 2017)) http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0264619617706100

 

For more information about the report please contact WESC’s Neuroscientist Jonathan Waddington, jwaddington@wescfoundation.ac.uk, 01392 454349.

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