Tablet computers versus optical aids to support education and learning in children and young people with low vision: protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial, CREATE (Children Reading with Electronic Assistance To Educate).
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:Low vision and blindness adversely affect education and independence of children and young people. New 'assistive' technologies such as tablet computers can display text in enlarged font, read text out to the user, allow speech input and conversion into typed text, offer document and spreadsheet processing and give access to wide sources of information such as the internet. Research on these devices in low vision has been limited to case series. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:We will carry out a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess the feasibility of a full RCT of assistive technologies for children/young people with low vision. We will recruit 40 students age 10-18 years in India and the UK, whom we will randomise 1:1 into two parallel groups. The active intervention will be Apple iPads; the control arm will be the local standard low-vision aid care. Primary outcomes will be acceptance/usage, accessibility of the device and trial feasibility measures (time to recruit children, lost to follow-up). Exploratory outcomes will be validated measures of vision-related quality of life for children/young people as well as validated measures of reading and educational outcomes. In addition, we will carry out semistructured interviews with the participants and their teachers. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:NRES reference 15/NS/0068; dissemination is planned via healthcare and education sector conferences and publications, as well as via patient support organisations. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT02798848; IRAS ID 179658, UCL reference 15/0570.
Project description:SIGNIFICANCE:Mobile devices such as tablet computers have become widely available as mainstream devices and are also used in some schools, but there is an absence of robust information regarding the efficacy of any optical/electronic low vision device or tablet computer in supporting education of young people with low vision. PURPOSE:A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is needed to measure the impact of tablet computers on education, specifically on independent access to educational material, in children and young people with low vision. We conducted a pilot RCT to determine the feasibility of conducting a full-scale trial. METHODS:This was a randomized multicenter pilot trial across two sites in the United Kingdom and one site in India. Forty children and young people aged 10 to 18 years with low vision (best-corrected visual acuity for distance between <20/60 [0.48 logMAR] and 20/400 [1.30 logMAR] in the better eye) in the United Kingdom (n = 20) and India (n = 20) were randomized to two parallel arms, with a 1:1 allocation ratio, to control (n = 20) or intervention (n = 20). Control group participants received standard low vision care. The intervention group received a tablet computer (iPad) with low vision applications and instruction in its use, including accessibility features. Four primary outcomes included (1) 6-month recruitment rate, (2) retention of participants for 3 months, (3) acceptance/usage of device, and (4) accessibility of device. RESULTS:Nineteen participants (95%) enrolled within 6 months in the United Kingdom, and 20 participants (100%), in India. Retention at 3 months was 85% (n = 17) in the United Kingdom and 95% (n = 19) in India. More than one half of participants reported using a tablet computer at school at least once every day. The majority (90%) found it easily accessible. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrated that it is feasible to recruit children and young people with low vision into an international multicenter RCT of electronic assistive technology. Regardless of geographical location, children and young people with low vision reported using tablet computers at least once a day at school and accessed them easily.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:A recent trend in low vision (LV) has been towards the use of portable head-mounted displays (HMDs) to enhance residual vision. The decision process around the (non-)use of such devices have been identified as multifactorial. Among important barriers identified in the context of magnifying LV aids were transportation issues and insufficient training. In recent years, telerehabilitation has become of growing interest in healthcare because it allows individuals to remain at home while receiving rehabilitation services. A recent pilot study indicated encouraging outcomes; however, very few applications of telerehabilitation for LV have been tested systematically. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:To help guide evidence-based practice recommendations for this modality, we will carry out a feasibility study to assess the recruitment, retention, accessibility and acceptability of an eventual fully randomised trial of telerehabilitation for people with LV using HMDs. We will recruit 60 participants aged 18+ years among prospective eSight Eyewear owners, randomised 1:1 into two parallel groups. The active intervention will be the telerehabilitation operated by a LV therapist; the control arm will be the current self-training standard provided by the device vendor. The primary feasibility outcome measures will be: time to recruit participants, loss to follow-up, accessibility and acceptability of the telerehabilitation (satisfaction of the users and LV therapist). Exploratory outcomes will be the impact of telerehabilitation on eSight Eyewear use behaviour (discontinuance rate), and validated measures of assistive-technology-related quality of life. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The study was approved by the Ethics Review Board of the Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Réadaptation de Montréal métropolitain (CRIR# 1286-1217). Dissemination is planned via local, national and international healthcare conferences and peer-reviewed journal publications.
Project description:Rehabilitation seeks to optimize functioning of people with impairments and includes a range of specific health services-diagnosis, treatment, surgery, assistive devices, and therapy. Evidence on access to rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited. A systematic review was conducted to examine this in depth. In February 2017, six databases were searched for studies measuring access to rehabilitation among people with disabilities in LMICs. Eligible measures of access to rehabilitation included: use of assistive devices, use of specialist health services, and adherence to treatment. Two reviewers independently screened titles, abstracts, and full texts. Data was extracted by one reviewer and checked by a second. Of 13,048 screened studies, 77 were eligible for inclusion. These covered a broad geographic area. 17% of studies measured access to hearing-specific services; 22% vision-specific; 31% physical impairment-specific; and 44% measured access to mental impairment-specific services. A further 35% measured access to services for any disability. A diverse range of measures of disability and access were used across studies making comparability difficult. However, there was some evidence that access to rehabilitation is low among people with disabilities. No clear patterns were seen in access by equity measures such as age, locality, socioeconomic status, or country income group due to the limited number of studies measuring these indicators, and the range of measures used. Access to rehabilitation services was highly variable and poorly measured within the studies in the review, but generally shown to be low. Far better metrics are needed, including through clinical assessment, before we have a true appreciation of the population level need for and coverage of these services.
Project description:The 1 year prevalence of depression in adolescents is about 2%. Treatment with antidepressant medication is not recommended for initial treatment in young people due to concerns over high side effects, poor efficacy and addictive potential. Evidence suggests that cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depression and is currently one of the main treatment options recommended in adolescents. Given the affinity young people have with information technology they may be treated effectively, more widely and earlier in their illness evolution using computer-administered CBT (CCBT). Currently little is known about the clinical and resource implications of implementing CCBT within the National Health Service for adolescents with low mood/depression. We aim to establish the feasibility of running a fully powered randomised controlled trial (RCT).Adolescents aged 12-18 with low mood/depression, (scoring ?20 on the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ)), will be approached to participate. Consenting participants will be randomised to either a CCBT programme (Stressbusters) or accessing selected websites providing information about low mood/depression. The primary outcome measure will be the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Participants will also complete generic health measures (EQ5D-Y, HUI2) and resource use questionnaires to examine the feasibility of cost-effectiveness analysis. Questionnaires will be completed at baseline, 4 and 12-month follow-ups. Progress and risk will be monitored via the MFQ administered at each treatment session. The acceptability of a CCBT programme to adolescents; and the willingness of clinicians to recruit participants and of participants to be randomised, recruitment rates, attrition rates and questionnaire completion rates will be collected for feasibility analysis. We will estimate 'numbers needed' to plan a fully powered RCT of clinical and cost-effectiveness.The current trial protocol received a favourable ethical opinion from Leeds (West) Research and Ethics Committee. (Reference: 10/H1307/137).ISRCTN31219579.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists assess the functional vision and O&M skills of people with mobility problems, usually relating to low vision or blindness. There are numerous O&M assessment checklists but no measures that reduce qualitative assessment data to a single comparable score suitable for assessing any O&M client, of any age or ability, in any location. Functional measures are needed internationally to align O&M assessment practices, guide referrals, profile O&M clients, plan appropriate services and evaluate outcomes from O&M programmes (eg, long cane training), assistive technology (eg, hazard sensors) and medical interventions (eg, retinal implants). This study aims to validate two new measures of functional performance vision-related outcomes in orientation and mobility (VROOM) and orientation and mobility outcomes (OMO) in the context of ordinary O&M assessments in Australia, with cultural comparisons in Malaysia, also developing phone apps and online training to streamline professional assessment practices. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:This multiphase observational study will employ embedded mixed methods with a qualitative/quantitative priority: corating functional vision and O&M during social inquiry. Australian O&M agencies (n=15) provide the sampling frame. O&M specialists will use quota sampling to generate cross-sectional assessment data (n=400) before investigating selected cohorts in outcome studies. Cultural relevance of the VROOM and OMO tools will be investigated in Malaysia, where the tools will inform the design of assistive devices and evaluate prototypes. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, Rasch modelling, cluster analysis and analysis of variance will be undertaken along with descriptive analysis of measurement data. Qualitative findings will be used to interpret VROOM and OMO scores, filter statistically significant results, warrant their generalisability and identify additional relevant constructs that could also be measured. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:Ethical approval has been granted by the Human Research Ethics Committee at Swinburne University (SHR Project 2016/316). Dissemination of results will be via agency reports, journal articles and conference presentations.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a heterogeneous disease, the signs and symptoms of which can be summarised with use of composite disease activity measures, including the clinical Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score (cJADAS). However, clusters of children and young people might experience different global patterns in their signs and symptoms of disease, which might run in parallel or diverge over time. We aimed to identify such clusters in the 3 years after a diagnosis of JIA. The identification of these clusters would allow for a greater understanding of disease progression in JIA, including how physician-reported and patient-reported outcomes relate to each other over the JIA disease course.<h4>Methods</h4>In this multicentre prospective longitudinal study, we included children and young people recruited before Jan 1, 2015, to the Childhood Arthritis Prospective Study (CAPS), a UK multicentre inception cohort. Participants without a cJADAS score were excluded. To assess groups of children and young people with similar disease patterns in active joint count, physician's global assessment, and patient or parental global evaluation, we used latent profile analysis at initial presentation to paediatric rheumatology and multivariate group-based trajectory models for the following 3 years. Optimal models were selected on the basis of a combination of model fit, clinical plausibility, and model parsimony.<h4>Finding</h4>Between Jan 1, 2001, and Dec 31, 2014, 1423 children and young people with JIA were recruited to CAPS, 239 of whom were excluded, resulting in a final study population of 1184 children and young people. We identified five clusters at baseline and six trajectory groups using longitudinal follow-up data. Disease course was not well predicted from clusters at baseline; however, in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, substantial proportions of children and young people had high patient or parent global scores despite low or improving joint counts and physician global scores. Participants in these groups were older, and a higher proportion of them had enthesitis-related JIA and lower socioeconomic status, compared with those in other groups.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Almost one in four children and young people with JIA in our study reported persistent, high patient or parent global scores despite having low or improving active joint counts and physician's global scores. Distinct patient subgroups defined by disease manifestation or trajectories of progression could help to better personalise health-care services and treatment plans for individuals with JIA.<h4>Funding</h4>Medical Research Council, Versus Arthritis, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, Olivia's Vision, and National Institute for Health Research.
Project description:An essential task for computer vision-based assistive technologies is to help visually impaired people to recognize objects in constrained environments, for instance, recognizing food items in grocery stores. In this paper, we introduce a novel dataset with natural images of groceries-fruits, vegetables, and packaged products-where all images have been taken inside grocery stores to resemble a shopping scenario. Additionally, we download iconic images and text descriptions for each item that can be utilized for better representation learning of groceries. We select a multi-view generative model, which can combine the different item information into lower-dimensional representations. The experiments show that utilizing the additional information yields higher accuracies on classifying grocery items than only using the natural images. We observe that iconic images help to construct representations separated by visual differences of the items, while text descriptions enable the model to distinguish between visually similar items by different ingredients.
Project description:The characteristics of the target group and the design of an epidemiologic study, in particular the recruiting methods, can influence participation. People with vision impairment have unique characteristics because those invited are often elderly and totally or partially dependent on help to complete daily activities such as travelling to study sites. Therefore, participation of people with impaired vision in studies is less predictable than predicting participation for the general population.Participants were recruited in the context of a study of prevalence and costs of visual impairment in Portugal (PCVIP-study). Participants were recruited from 4 Portuguese public hospitals. Inclusion criteria were: acuity in the better eye from 0.5 decimal (0.30logMAR) or worse and/or visual field of less than 20 degrees. Recruitment involved sending invitation letters and follow-up phone calls. A multiple logistic regression model was used to assess determinants of participation. The J48 classifier, chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were applied to investigate the possible differences between subjects in our sample.Individual cases were divided into 3 groups: immediate, late and non-participants. A participation rate of 20% was obtained (15% immediate, 5% late). Factors positively associated with participation included years of education, annual hospital attendance, and intermediate visual acuity. Females and greater distance to the hospital were inversely associated with participation.In our study, a letter followed by a phone call was efficient to recruit a significant number of participants from a larger group of people with impaired vision. However, the improvement in participation observed after the phone call might not be cost-effective. People with low levels of education and women were more difficult to recruit. These findings need to be considered to avoid studies whose results are biased by gender or socio-economic inequalities of their participants. Young subjects and those at intermediate stages of vision impairment, or equivalent conditions, may need more persuasion than other profiles.
Project description:PURPOSE:To characterize functional complaints of new low-vision rehabilitation patients. DESIGN:Prospective observational study. PARTICIPANTS:The Low Vision Rehabilitation Outcomes Study recruited 819 patients between 2008 and 2011 from 28 clinical centers in the United States. METHODS:New patients referred for low-vision rehabilitation were asked, "What are your chief complaints about your vision?" before their appointment. Full patient statements were transcribed as free text. Two methods assessed whether statements indicated difficulty in each of 13 functional categories: (1) assessment by 2 masked clinicians reading the statement, and (2) a computerized search of the text for specific words or word fragments. Logistic regression models were used to predict the influence of age, gender, and visual acuity on the likelihood of reporting a complaint in each functional category. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Prevalence and risk factors for patient concerns within various functional categories. RESULTS:Reading was the most common functional complaint (66.4% of patients). Other functional difficulties expressed by at least 10% of patients included driving (27.8%), using visual assistive equipment (17.5%), mobility (16.3%), performing in-home activities (15.1%), lighting and glare (11.7%), and facial recognition and social interactions (10.3%). Good agreement was noted between the masked clinician graders and the computerized algorithm for categorization of functional complaints (median ? of 0.84 across the 13 categories). Multivariate logistic regression models demonstrated that the likelihood of reading difficulties increased mildly with age (odds ratio, 1.4 per 10-year increment in age; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-1.6), but did not differ with visual acuity (P = 0.09). Additionally, men were more likely to report driving difficulties and difficulties related to lighting, whereas women were more likely to report difficulty with either in-home activities or facial recognition or social interaction (P<0.05 for all). Mobility concerns, defined as walking difficulty and out-of-home activities, showed no relationship to gender, age, or visual acuity. CONCLUSIONS:Reading was the most commonly reported difficulty, regardless of the patient's diagnosis. Neither visual acuity nor gender were predictive of reading concerns, although, age showed a small effect. Addressing reading rehabilitation should be a cornerstone of low-vision therapy.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterised by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. To improve outcomes, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ADHD guidelines recommend regular monitoring of symptoms when children commence medication. However, research suggests that routine monitoring rarely happens, and clinicians often rely on subjective information such as reports from parents and teachers to ascertain improvement. These sources can be unreliable and difficult to obtain. The addition of an objective test of attention and activity (QbTest) may improve the objectivity, reliability and speed of clinical decision-making and so reduce the time to identify the optimal medication dose. This study aims to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a QbTest medication management protocol delivered in routine healthcare services for children with ADHD. METHOD AND ANALYSIS:This multisite feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT) will recruit 60 young people (aged 6-17?years old), diagnosed with ADHD, and starting stimulant medication who are seen by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services or Community Paediatric services. Participants will be randomised into one of two arms. In the experimental arm (QbTest protocol), the participant will complete a QbTest at baseline (prior to medication initiation), and two follow-up QbTests on medication (2-4 weeks and 8-10 weeks later). In the control arm, participants will receive treatment as usual, with at least two follow-up consultations. Measures of parent-, teacher- and clinician-rated symptoms and global functioning will be completed at each time point. Health economic measures will be completed. Clinicians will record treatment decision-making. Acceptability and feasibility of the protocol will be assessed alongside outcome measure completion rates. Qualitative interviews will be conducted. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:The findings will be used to inform the development of a fully powered RCT. The results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The study has ethical approval. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT03368573; Pre-results.