Improving lives of children through occupational therapy vision evaluation and intervention
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INTRODUCTION: Children in inpatient settings are in an unfamiliar environment that does not facilitate engagement in typical occupations. Children report multiple concerns with the hospital environment and experience including physical pain, loss of independence, loss of meaningful activities, lack of routine, and loss of control. Occupational therapists play a distinct role in improving the hospitalization experience for children by addressing these concerns. By improving the evaluation and treatment of visual deficits for children in inpatients settings, occupational therapists can increase children’s function and independence in meaningful activities and maximize psychological well-being. THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE AND EVIDENCE: Self-determination theory posits that humans have three innate psychological needs – competence, autonomy, and relatedness. These needs are not being met for children in inpatient settings as shown by multiple qualitative studies, however occupational therapy can aid in meeting these needs through proper intervention. DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT: Resources were developed to improve the evaluation and treatment of visual deficits in children in inpatient settings including a vision screening tool, treatment protocol, referral protocol, and functional implications of visual deficits chart. METHODS: The vision screening tool and protocols were used on a small sample of patients (n=6) to identify and treat visual deficits. A survey was provided to occupational therapists to determine feasibility, usefulness, and effectiveness of the resources. CONCLUSION: The resources are useful and feasible for evaluating and treating visual deficits in children in the inpatient setting.