Interventions Within the Scope of Occupational Therapy Practice to Improve Performance of Daily Activities for Older Adults With Low Vision: A Systematic Review

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American Journal of Occupational Therapy








Importance: The prevalence of low vision increases with age. Low vision has detrimental effects on older adults’ independence.

Objective: To identify the effectiveness of interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice to maintain, restore, and improve performance in daily activities for older adults with low vision.

Data Sources: Literature published between 2010 and 2017 was searched in CINAHL, Cochrane Databases, MEDLINE, OTseeker, and PsycINFO.

Study Selection and Data Collection: The authors screened and appraised studies following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol. Studies were eligible if the participants’ mean age was 55 yr or older, the level of evidence was Level III or higher, the intervention was within the scope of occupational therapy practice, and the outcome measures assessed the performance of daily activities.

Findings: Fourteen studies met the review criteria. Three intervention themes were identified: low vision rehabilitation services (n = 6), self-management approach (n = 6), and tango (n = 2). Moderate evidence was found for low vision rehabilitation services. Low evidence was found for using the self-management approach or adding the self-management approach to existing low vision rehabilitation services. Low evidence was found for tango.

Conclusion and Relevance: This systematic review supports the use of low vision rehabilitation services as an effective approach. Occupational therapy practitioners are encouraged to be part of multidisciplinary teams that offer comprehensive low vision evaluations and multicomponent services.

What This Article Adds: Low vision rehabilitation that offers multidisciplinary services, including occupational therapy, is effective in promoting independence among older adults with low vision.


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Occupational Therapy