Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Colleen M. Schneck

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Abstract

Because there is a discrepancy between the described role for OT in the professional literature and the Kentucky Practice Act, it is necessary to consider occupational therapy's role and to evaluate what type of practice is occurring related to visual deficits in the local environment. The purpose of this study was to explore occupational therapist's perceptions of their role and experiences in working with visual deficits in an inpatient rehabilitation setting in Kentucky. In this phenomenological study, four occupational therapists participated in a one-on-one interview with the principal investigator, lasting from 30-60 minutes. Occupational therapists answered questions about their lived experiences relating to the phenomenon of addressing visual deficits in a rehabilitation setting. Transcripts of the interviews were formed and phenomenological data analysis was used to obtain a better understanding of the phenomenon of addressing visual deficits in a rehabilitation setting. Data analysis revealed four main themes including a) defining a blurry role, b) working through a blurry role, but walking a fine line, c) vision is the missing piece, and d) in an ideal world. Further exploration of these themes reveals conclusions related to the role of occupational therapy related to treating visual deficits.

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