How effective is eccentric viewing training? A systematic literature review

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Abstract

Purpose:

The global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and associated central vision loss is rising. Central vision loss hinders the performance of many activities of daily living. Adaptive strategies such as eccentric viewing and steady eye strategy may be used to compensate for central vision loss. In order to establish the potential of these rehabilitation strategies, this systematic review evaluates current literature regarding the effectiveness of eccentric viewing and steady eye strategy training in people with central vision loss.

Results:

The search strategies identified 2605 publications, 36 of which met the inclusion criteria for the review, but only three of which were randomised controlled trials. This literature shows that eccentric viewing and steady eye strategy training can improve near visual acuity, reading speed, and performance of activities of daily living in people with central vision loss. However, there was insufficient literature to establish a relationship between training and distance visual acuity or quality of life. There is no conclusive evidence to show that a particular model of eccentric viewing training is superior to another, little clear evidence of a relationship between participant characteristics and training outcomes and no data regarding the cost effectiveness of training.

Conclusion:

This report highlights the need for further robust research to establish the true potential and cost effectiveness of eccentric viewing and steady eye strategy training as a rehabilitation strategy for individuals with central vision loss.

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