April 19, 2017 – Functional Improvement


Anchor lead: Can occupational therapy help improve visual function? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Occupational therapy for people with low vision delivered at home, and directed specifically toward helping them with tasks they identified as both meaningful and challenging, helped avoid depression, research by Ashley Deemer and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown. Deemer says in some folks, function actually improved.

Deemer: We noticed that those with the more mild visual impairment actually performed much better on these questionnaires after the occupational therapy group. Whereas those who were not in that group, those who were in the supportive therapy attention control group, did not improve in their functional ability measures so the occupational therapy role did improve not only in some of these depressive symptoms but then also in this particular subset of people with mild impairment did improve their visual function as well. :29

Deemer credits the comprehensive approach to rehabilitation, including in home occupational therapy, for those with visual impairment as the key in improving function. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.