To provide a systematic overview of interventions for stroke related visual impairments.
To provide a systematic overview of interventions for stroke related visual impairments.
A systematic review of the literature was conducted including randomized controlled trials, controlled trials, cohort studies, observational studies, systematic reviews, and retrospective medical note reviews. All languages were included and translation obtained. This review covers adult participants (aged 18 years or over) diagnosed with a visual impairment as a direct cause of a stroke. Studies which included mixed populations were included if over 50% of the participants had a diagnosis of stroke and were discussed separately. We searched scholarly online resources and hand searched articles and registers of published, unpublished, and ongoing trials. Search terms included a variety of MESH terms and alternatives in relation to stroke and visual conditions. Article selection was performed by two authors independently. Data were extracted by one author and verified by a second. The quality of the evidence and risk of bias was assessed using appropriate tools dependant on the type of article.
Forty-nine articles (4142 subjects) were included in the review, including an overview of four Cochrane systematic reviews. Interventions appraised included those for visual field loss, ocular motility deficits, reduced central vision, and visual perceptual deficits.
Further high quality randomized controlled trials are required to determine the effectiveness of interventions for treating post-stroke visual impairments. For interventions which are used in practice but do not yet have an evidence base in the literature, it is imperative that these treatments be addressed and evaluated in future studies.
Visual impairments following stroke may include abnormalities of central and/or peripheral vision, eye movements and a variety of visual perception problems such as inattention and agnosia. The visual problems (types of visual impairment) can be complex including ocular as well as cortical damage (Jones & Shinton, 2006; Rowe et al., 2009a). Visual impairments can have wide reaching implications on daily living, independence, and quality of life. Links with depression have also been documented in the literature (Granger, Cotter, Hamilton, & Fiedler, 1993; Nelles et al., 2001; Ramrattan et al., 2001; Tsai et al., 2003; West et al., 2002). The estimation of the overall prevalence of visual impairment is approximately 60% at the acute stage following stroke (Ali et al., 2013; Barrett et al., 2007; Clisby, 1995; Freeman & Rudge, 1987; Isaeff, Wallar, & Duncan, 1974; Rowe et al., 2009b; Rowe et al., 2013). A review of the individual prevalence figures and the recovery rates for each of the possible post-stroke visual impairments has been reported elsewhere in the literature (Hepworth et al., 2016).
In order to treat and manage visual impairments caused by stroke it is important to establish the range and effectiveness of the available treatment options. The aim of this literature review is to provide a comprehensive synthesis of the evidence relating to treatment of visual problems after stroke.
Background: The visual impairments caused by stroke have the potential to affect the ability of an individual to perform activities of daily living. An individual with visual impairment may also have reduced level of independence. The purpose of this review was to investigate the impact on quality of life from stroke related visual impairment, using subjective patient reported outcome measures.
Methods: A systematic search of the literature was performed. The inclusion criteria required studies to have adult participants (aged 18 years or over) with a diagnosis of a visual impairment directly resulting from a stroke. Studies which included visual impairment as a result of other intracranial aetiology, were included if over half of the participants were stroke survivors. Multiple scholarly online databases and registers of published, unpublished and ongoing trials were searched, in addition articles were hand searched. MESH terms and alternatives in relation to stroke and visual conditions were used. Study selection was performed by two authors independently. Data was extracted by one author and verified by a second. The quality of the evidence was assessed using a quality appraisal tool and reporting guidelines.
Results: This review included 11 studies which involved 5646 participants, the studies used a mixture of generic and vision-specific instruments. The seven instruments used by the included studies were the EQ-5D, LIFE-H, SF-36, NEI VFQ-25, VA LV VFQ-48, SRA-VFP and DLTV.
Conclusion: A reduction in quality of life was reported by all studies in stroke survivors with visual impairment. Some studies used generic instruments, therefore making it difficult to extract the specific impact of the visual impairment as opposed to the other deficits caused by stroke. The majority of studies (8/11) primarily had participants with visual field loss. This skew towards visual field loss and no studies investigating the impact ocular motility prevented a comparison of the effects on quality of life due to different visual impairments caused by stroke. In order to fully understand the impact of visual impairment following stroke on quality of life, further studies need to use an appropriate vision-specific outcome measure and include all types of visual impairment which can result from a stroke.
Approximately one-third of the human brain controls visual anatomy or transmits and registers visual information (Kapoor & Ciuffreda, 2002). Because of this, acquired brain injuries ABI can frequently cause visual impairment.
Following an ABI, it is important for visual deficits to be taken into account and addressed during occupational therapy evaluation and treatment. Although considered a primary sense for obtaining information, vision is often ignored or overlooked in rehabilitation programs. Vision screens should be conducted and collaborations and referrals to a neuro-optometrists made. There is a lack of research regarding the benefits of visual interventions with individuals that are more than two years post-injury.
The project looked at benefits of addressing visual deficits in individuals who have experienced a ABI and are five years or more post-injury. A vison program was established at a day enrichment center for individuals’ years postinjury. Vision programs were established in collaboration with a neuro optometrist and performed at an inpatient brain injury rehabilitation center.
Two different case studies and a pilot study detail the benefits of a comprehensive vison program in individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury. A pilot study was conducted to monitor the benefits of development of a program to address visual deficits effecting reading with individuals more than five years post-brain injury. There is potential for ocular motor deficits such as pursuits and saccades to improve with continued training and for improvements in visual deficits to improve performance in activities of daily living
Aim: The aim of this literature review was to determine the reported incidence and prevalence of visual impairment due to stroke for all visual conditions including central vision loss, visual field loss, eye movement problems and visual perception problems. A further aim was to document the reported rate and extent of recovery of visual conditions post stroke.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted including all languages and translations obtained. The review covered adult participants (aged 18 years or over) diagnosed with a visual impairment as a direct cause of a stroke. Studies which included mixed populations were included if over 50% of the participants had a diagnosis of stroke. We searched scholarly online resources and hand searched journals and registers of published, unpublished and ongoing trials. Search terms included a variety of MESH terms and alternatives in relation to stroke and visual conditions. The quality of the evidence was assessed using key reporting guidelines, e.g. STROBE, CONSORT.
Results: Sixty-one studies (n=25,672) were included in the review. Overall prevalence of visual impairment early after stroke was estimated at 65%, ranging from 19% to 92%. Visual field loss reports ranged from 5.5% to 57%, ocular motility problems from 22% to 54%, visual inattention from 14% to 82% and reduced central vision reported in up to 70%. Recovery of visual field loss varied between 0% and 72%, with ocular motility between 7% and 92% and visual inattention between 29% and 78%.
Conclusion: The current literature provides a range of estimates for prevalence of visual impairment after stroke. Visual impairment post stroke is a common problem and has significant relevance to the assessment and care these patients receive. Prospective figures regarding incidence remain unknown.
In patients with brain damage, often the hemianopic field defect is not diagnosed, because other neurological symptoms, such as hemiplegia, are predominant. The mean time between the brain damage and the diagnosis of the hemianopia was found to be 3 +/- 2 months (Zhang et al 2006). Additionally, the patients oft en do not realize the fi eld defect, even though they experience activity limitations in their everyday life. The classification of the World Health Organizati on (WHO 2004) for Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) includes three main aspects, which have to be considered in visual impairment:
Homonymous field defects cause two main disabilities/ activity limitations:
…A novel, tablet-based application (app) has been developed to act as a screening tool for visual impairment in stroke survivors; The Stroke Vision app. The app includes assessments for visual acuity, visual fields and visuospatial neglect, as well as novel tools for the education of patients, carers and staff. The app has been devised by experts in the field to address two important deficiencies; firstly a set of visual assessment tools to support and improve evaluation and rehabilitation of visual impairments in stroke survivors, and secondly to provide education for staff and information to carers about their relatives visual disabilities…