Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Kate Barrett


Doctor of Occupational Therapy


The purpose of this project was to explore the prevalence and nature of participation and quality of life for persons with ABI-related oculomotor impairments. The specific aims were to (1) describe participation in everyday activities and social roles, and quality of life; and (2) provide preliminary recommendations for occupational therapists and health care providers on which specific participation areas to assess and identify possible tools to use.

This study used a cross sectional descriptive approach with self-report tools to measure visual symptoms, quality of life, and participation in everyday activities and social roles. Open-ended follow-up questions were also done to understand the nature of those items described as difficult. Thirty participants were interviewed.

Visual symptoms were significant for 96.7% of the participants. Quality of life scores for both physical and mental health were approximately one standard deviation below the US population norms. All categories except nutrition and personal cares were at least two standard deviations below the norms for community living adults. The everyday activities and social roles identified as very difficult for 80% or more of the participants were: recreation, education, work, house maintenance, and volunteering. Isolated tasks that were very difficult for 59% of more of participants included using a computer, communicating in a group, reading, and driving. It appears that the isolated tasks were perceived as less difficult than when put together. Narrative responses were grouped into three themes: challenges of the task and environment, self-identified personal difficulties, and changes to habits/priorities/roles. The complexity of the situation as well its dynamic nature is discussed. Recommendations are made for which activities and visual symptoms health professionals should be aware, as well as possible assessment tools to use.