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Vertical reading training for stroke survivors with visual field loss


About This PhD Project

Project Description

Ref: SHLS20028 Thomson

Background: Stroke survivors with visual field loss struggle to read, due to an inability to see the start or end of lines of text within the area of lost vision. This can have a significant impact on everyday activities, with reading difficulties an unmet need for 34% of stroke survivors1. One possible intervention is to rotate the text, so that the full line of text is always within the area of remaining vision. Preliminary research suggests this may be effective, but no training packages for healthcare staff or patients to support this new approach to reading currently exist within the UK. It is a very simple intervention to potentially address a key issue for stroke survivors.


Aim: to develop and test the effectiveness and implementation of a vertical reading training package for stroke survivors with visual field loss

Objectives:
1. Develop an evidence-based vertical reading training package
2. Optimise and refine the training package in conjunction with stroke survivors, carers and clinicians
3. Explore effectiveness and implementation of the training package with stroke survivors (with varying visual and stroke profiles), across a range of care providers/settings

Methods
Following MRC guidance, the intervention development and implementation will be informed by co-production approaches and behaviour change models. The specific study methods will reflect the student’s skills, interest and experience, and in discussion with the supervisory team.

Research Community: you will be part of the vibrant, multi-disciplinary Stroke and Long-term Neurological Conditions team, have strong connections to NMAHP Research Unit and the Occupational Therapy, Human Nutrition & Dietetics team. Working in collaboration with researchers at the University of Groningen, you will have a specialist international advisory group and will liaise with leading vision loss organisations in the UK, such as RNIB.

Candidate: you will have completed your degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant clinical subject, such as Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Orthoptics, Psychology, Low vision rehabilitation, Speech and Language Therapy. Clinical experience of stroke would be of benefit.

References

McKevitt C, Fudge N, Redfern J, et al. UK Stroke Survivor Needs Survey. UK: The Stroke Association, 2010.

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