Open Access Capstone
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Background: Results of a study by Casten et al., (2005) confirmed low rates of use of devices and services for low vision by the older adult. Older adults with low vision are receptive to using low vision resources but are often unaware of them (Lighthouse International, 2021). Casten et al. (2005) further suggested that the lack of services or use of devices may be due to a lack of awareness of health care professionals. Low vision assistive devices (LVAD), whether high or low tech, or mainstream, can help maximize a client’s vision so that they can perform everyday tasks more easily and with less frustration (Duffy, 2017) and increase the likelihood of being able to age in place.
Purpose: The purpose of this research was to educate practitioners on the effectiveness of interventions and pieces of assistive technology within the occupational therapy scope of practice to improve performance in daily activities at home for older adults with low vision.
Theoretical Framework: This capstone was supported by the Adult Learning theory and The Conceptual Model of Occupational Therapy in Low Vision (Schoessow, 2010). These theories interact equally to support education on LVAD so that a person with low vision can function as independently as possible.
Methods: This project was designed and implemented to provide professional development on current LVAD and local community resources to home health practitioners to increase their knowledge. The project was completed though a professional development module to inform practitioners of the most current best practices to help those with low vision remain as independent as possible with self-care skills in the home and community environments. Before and after the professional development module, pre and post survey data were collected to evaluate the participants’ knowledge level of identification of low vision client’s and the use of LVAD and resources and determine the change in their knowledge after the module. The goal of the professional development in-service was to not only increase the participants’ knowledge of LVAD and resources but also to reinforce occupational therapy’s role with this population.
Results: This capstone project was conducted with eleven healthcare practitioners to provide education on LVAD, interventions and resources to healthcare practitioners with focus on the home care setting. Quantitative analysis of the data revealed that the objectives of the study were met. Mean scores improved from the pre to posttest, where pre-test questions ranged from 1.82 to 2.91 and the post-test questions ranged from 3.73 to 4.45, for an average of 2.14 or 42.8%. The participant responses to the open-ended questions were positive and indicated understanding and growth in realm of LVAD, interventions, and resources. Based on these findings, the educational presentation provided to home healthcare clinicians was found to increase home care clinicians’ knowledge of LVAD, interventions and resources.
Conclusion: This researcher found evidence connecting this study to the past literature involving LVAD, interventions and resources. The capstone objectives were met by the participants’ demonstration of knowledge and perceptions and finally educating practitioners about the realm of low vision. This capstone helps to fill a gap in the literature involving the need for greater education on low vison.
Allen Keener, OTD, MS, OTR/L, ATP
Julie Duckart, PhD., OTR/L
2022 Lora L. Jester-Rains
Jester-Rains, Lora L., "The Effects of Education with Healthcare Providers on Low Vision Assistive Devices and their Ability to Improve Self-Care Skills" (2022). Occupational Therapy Doctorate Capstone Projects. 88.
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)