All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Laura K Vogtle

Advisory Committee Members

Cynthia J Brown

Tapan Mehta

Brooks Wingo

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Health Professions

Abstract

Falls remain a costly problem as a leading cause of injuries and fatalities for individuals over the age of 65. Older adults with low vision, or non-correctable visual impairment, are estimated to be two times more likely to fall than those without vision loss. There appear to be limited falls prevention interventions available for older adults that have been tested on or designed specifically for individuals with visual impairment. The goals of this dissertation were to learn more about the availability of visually accessible falls prevention interventions and to develop an intervention that can be used with veterans receiving services within the Southeastern Blind Rehabilitation Center (SBRC) in Birmingham, Alabama. We conducted two studies to address accessible intervention development. The first study, a scoping review, indicated that falls prevention interventions available to older adults with low vision are limited. The second study served to develop an accessible falls prevention intervention using the ADAPT-ITT model for modification of evidence-based interventions and to pilot the adapted intervention. It was concluded that the intervention modifications completed in the final study were needed based on the inability of the participants to visualize the original, unmodified content, and expert feedback regarding the inaccessibility of the content. After piloting, participants showed evidence of increased knowledge of intervention content and positive verbal feedback regarding use of the intervention within the SBRC. This dissertation highlights the need for visually accessible falls prevention interventions for older adults with low vision.

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