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Authors
Bittner, Ava Katherine OD, PhD, FAAO; Yoshinaga, Patrick OD, MPH, FAAO; Bowers, Angie MOT, OTR/L; Shepherd, John D. MD; Succar, Tony PhD, MSc; Ross, Nicole C. OD, MSc, FAAO

Feasibility of Telerehabilitation for Low Vision: Satisfaction Ratings by Providers and Patients

publication date
May 7, 2018
Category
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Abstract/Introduction

SIGNIFICANCE 

This pilot study demonstrated feasibility and acceptability of telerehabilitation between a provider in-office and a low vision patient at home as an approach to provide follow-up care to improve reading ability with magnification devices and that would help overcome barriers related to transportation and paucity of providers.

PURPOSE 

A recent systematic review found no publications with results on the topic of telerehabilitation for low vision. Our goal was to perform the initial steps to develop, administer, refine, and evaluate components required to deliver follow-up low vision telerehabilitation services.

METHODS 

Three low vision providers (ophthalmic technician or optometrist) conducted telerehabilitation sessions from their office with 10 visually impaired older adults in their homes, who recently received a handheld magnification device for reading and self-reported difficulty with returning for follow-up training at their provider's office. All except one participant had never used videoconferencing before our study, and three had never used the Internet. Participants and providers rated the use of loaner hardware devices (i.e., tablets, MiFi mobile hotspot) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act–compliant, secure videoconference services during telerehabilitation sessions at which participants read MNREAD cards and received feedback on magnifier use.


Conclusion/Results

RESULTS 

Providers reported little to no difficulty with evaluating participants' reading speed, reading accuracy, and working distance with their magnifier. Both providers and participants rated video quality as excellent to good. Audio quality ratings were variable, generally related to signal strength or technical issues during some sessions. All participants agreed that they were satisfied and comfortable receiving telerehabilitation and evaluation via videoconferencing. Eight of 10 reported that their magnifier use improved after telerehabilitation. All except one reported that they were very interested in receiving telerehabilitation services again if their visual needs change.

CONCLUSIONS 

Positive feedback from both participants and providers in this pilot study supports the feasibility, acceptability, and potential value of low vision telerehabilitation.


Testimonials


At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


Cynthia Norton

Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


Steve Fay

Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


Mary K.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Peter G.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Kinkie F.

I have always found Dr Kavner's work, expertise and wisdom of the highest caliber. As one of the fathers of OT, occupational othomology, his depth and breadth of knowledge about the eyes' health and wellbeing of the patient is exemplary. Cannot say enough good things about him.


Allen B.
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