Development of a standardized occupational therapy screening tool for visual perception in adults

Deirdre M Cooke, Kryss McKenna, Jennifer Fleming
Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy 2005, 12 (2): 59-71
Occupational therapy assessment and treatment of visual perceptual impairments are integral to the rehabilitation of clients following stroke and other acquired brain injuries. Occupational therapists need to identify the nature of visual perceptual performance impairments in order to choose rehabilitation intervention strategies appropriate for remediation of specific problems or to compensate for limitations in daily function. This paper describes the variations in visual perception terminology and occupational therapy approaches to visual perceptual assessment. Limitations of existing assessment tools for visual perception are highlighted in terms of reliability, validity, normative information, length of time to administer, and comprehensiveness in screening for visual perceptual impairment. In response to these limitations, a battery of items, called the Occupational Therapy Adult Perceptual Screening Test (OT-APST) was selected to screen adults comprehensively for impairments of agnosia, visuospatial skills including body scheme and neglect, constructional skills, apraxia, and acalculia. It also includes a subtest to evaluate functional skills directly observed during screening. This new battery has established reliability, validity and age-stratified normative data for adults 16 to 97 years of age. The OT-APST is recommended for use in conjunction with observational assessment of activities of daily living for clients with stroke and acquired brain injury.

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