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The effect of hemispatial sunglasses on unilateral neglect among persons with right hemisphere stroke Monette, Angela Dawn

Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of hemispatial glasses (HSG) in persons with left unilateral neglect (UN). The glasses reduced the amount of visual stimuli entering the non-neglected visual field and presumably enabled attention to be transferred to the neglected side. Two studies were conducted. Study #1 compared the performance of 13 persons with unilateral neglect on line bisection and shape cancellation with and without HSG. Three different types of HSG were compared. The response to the HSG varied across person, type of HSG, and test. One subject who demonstrated a benefit from the HSG participated in the second study. Study #2 assessed the impact of the HSG on activities of daily living (ADL) (eating, room look about, and shelf scanning) and standardized measures of neglect (shape cancellation). Single subject methodology (a multiple baseline design across behaviors with an embedded withdrawal) was used. The HSG had no effect on mobility or shelf scanning. Wearing the HSG during the room look about resulted in a marked improvement in scanning. The subject entered a generalization phase during which the HSG were worn for 4 hours daily but not for testing. During this phase, improvements on room look about increased and carryover occurred on the shape cancellation test. The data were analyzed visually and using semi-statistical techniques. Incidental findings include previously undocumented high variability in the shape cancellation test and BIT insensitivity to neglect over a large space. HSG are shown to be beneficial for neglect rehabilitation. The implications of the varied findings are discussed in terms of general neglect theory and treatment. As well, this study provides further support for the "forced use" model. The Subjective Neglect Questionnaire and a closing interview were performed to explore social validity issues.

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