New paper out on Visual Perception Screening
Up to three quarters of people have visual perception problems after stroke. These problems can be difficulties with recognising objects, faces, shapes or with reading. Unfortunately, only 20% of these problems are discovered in routine clinical practice. This means many stroke survivors and their families do not get support in understanding and managing their visual perception problems. A first step to improving the diagnosis of visual perception problems after stroke is to better understand the current clinical practice and the challenges that clinicians face in making a diagnosis. We interviewed 25 clinicians involved in visual perception screening after stroke. We asked them how they currently screen for visual perceptual difficulties, what they find challenging, and what they would recommend to improve services. They told us visual perception was difficult to understand. For many it was unclear how it differed from sensory vision and visual inattention (or hemispatial neglect). They told us the biggest challenges were a lack of time and training. Many of the existing assessments were not suitable for stroke survivors with communication difficulties or with difficulties concentrating for more than 10 minutes. To improve services, they recommend:
1) More training and awareness
2) Quick and practical assessment tools
3) Good local relationships between orthoptists and occupational therapists
In a follow-up survey, we will ask a large number of clinicians from all over the UK if they agree with our conclusions. Next, we will use their advice to develop an instrument that meets their needs and hopefully improve diagnosis of visual perception difficulties after stroke.