Impact of rehabilitation

Vision, the most dominant of our senses, plays a critical role for functioning and wellbeing. Many of these consequences can be mitigated by timely access to rehabilitation. Mobility and isolation are major barriers and many people have limited resources to attend in-person visits to rehabilitation centres. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a shift of rehabilitation and support towards tele-rehabilitation and remote service delivery.

Over 300 million people worldwide are living with visual impairment; it reduces both activities of daily living and quality of life.

Due to changes in support methodology resulting from the current pandemic, many people are receiving remote support from a variety of third sector and statutory organisations. While this is becoming standardised, with a return to the former normality under question, the implications of remote service delivery/tele-rehabilitation are not fully understood. Given that many affected by visual impairment are within risk categories, the likelihood of changes in delivery affecting this particular cohort is increased.

Having looked into literature, like others, we were unable to find data comparing, or allowing for comparison of the effects of tele-rehabilitation with face-to-face rehabilitation services for improving vision related quality of life in people with visual impairment due to any ocular condition. As a consequence we are gathering primary data to measure and understand the effects, outcomes, value and health economics of both remote and face-to-face services for improving vision-related quality of life, isolation, anxiety and overall wellbeing.

We also explore the value of using alternative methods, such as virtual reality platforms, as a mode for some aspects of service delivery.

More information coming soon...