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.
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.
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.