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T.K. Kuyk, K. Scilley, J. Elliott, S. Mitchell, C. Owsley; Self-Reported Mobilty Performance Among Older Veterans at 2 and 6 Months After Blind Rehabilitation . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):177.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Previously we reported that 2 months after blind rehabilitation visually impaired older veterans reported less difficulty and greater confidence in their ability to perform in a variety of mobility situations. The durability of the intervention was tested by re-assessing mobility performance at 6 months after rehabilitation. Methods: Mobility performance and confidence were assessed by questionnaire in 202 moderately to severely visually impaired adults before and again at 2 and 6 months after completing a blind rehabilitation program that included mobility training. Data on perceived difficulty in 35 mobility situations, confidence in four situations, falls and other mobility indicators along with measures of visual function were collected. Results: Difficulty ratings for 34 of 35 and 33 of 35 mobility situations were lower, respectively, at 2 and 6 months after rehabilitation than before. However, 33 of 35 situations had higher difficulty ratings at 6 than at 2 months after rehabilitation. Analysis of paired pre and post scores for all test items indicated that 25 of 35 differences were significant at 2 months and 19 of 35 at 6 months after rehabilitation. Situations rated among the easiest and most difficult before training tended to be rated similarly after training. Confidence was higher at both post assessments, the number of falls declined and other indicators showed positive changes after rehabilitation. Visual field extent was the best predictor of performance. Conclusions:Blind rehabilitation that includes mobility training can significantly improve mobility performance and confidence in moderately to severely visually impaired older adults. The intervention exhibits durability over 6 months, although over time, there may be some loss of the gains achieved as a result of training.
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