Longitudinal observation, evaluation and interpretation of coping with mental (emotional) health in low vision rehabilitation using the Dutch ICF Activity Inventory

J.E. Bruijning, G.H.M.B. van Rens, M. Fick, D.L. Knol, R.M.A. van Nispen

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Background: Since there is evidence that mental health aspects (such as depression) may inhibit an optimal rehabilitation outcome, there is growing interest in the psychosocial aspects of vision loss as part of rehabilitation. The purpose of this study is to provide more insight into the construct validity and (longitudinal) interpretation of goals related to 'Coping with mental (emotional) health aspects' which are part of the recently developed 'Dutch ICF Activity Inventory (D-AI). Moreover, the data allowed to provide some insight in the outcome in this domain in relation to rehabilitation programs followed in Dutch Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Centers at baseline and follow-up. Methods: In a cohort of 241 visually impaired persons, the D-AI was assessed at baseline (enrollment), 4 and 12 months, The importance and difficulty of the D-AI goals 'Handle feelings', 'Acceptance', and 'Feeling fit' and difficulty scores of underlying tasks were further analyzed, together with similar or related standardized questionnaires. At baseline, Spearman correlations were determined between D-AI goals and task and additional questionnaires to investigate the construct validity. Corrected and uncorrected linear mixed models were used to determine longitudinal rehabilitation outcomes in relation to rehabilitation programs followed. Results: Baseline correlations indicated that the difficulty of tasks and the umbrella goal 'Acceptance' were not similar. Longitudinal analyses provided insight in some subtle differences in concepts measured at the goal and task level of the D-AI, as well as similar validated questionnaires. After correcting for confounding variables, none of the underlying task difficulty scales changed over time. For goal difficulty scores only 'Acceptance' was reported to be significantly less difficult at 4 and 12 months follow-up. Importance scores of goals were stable from baseline to follow-up. Conclusion: With respect to the constructs measured, results support the formulation of the new goal question 'Emotional life' which replaces the goals 'Handle feelings' and 'Acceptance'. Results indicate that MRCs should pay more attention to problems related to mental health. They have started to use the D-AI as it seems a promising tool to investigate and evaluate rehabilitation needs (including those related to mental health) over time and to clearly define rehabilitation goals from the very start.
Original languageEnglish
Article number182
JournalHealth and quality of life outcomes
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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