One project that has been simmering along is our idea for exploring of the clinical benefit of prism glasses. The project idea arose from discussions with colleagues about the use of prism glasses by people who have problems with vision and attention following brain injury (e.g. hemispatial neglect). There is a well developed literature about how prism use in these groups, and we were really surprised that there was no similar literature for people with PSP. We have some preliminary data from a survey about how and why people with PSP use prism glasses (see User Perspectives on the Efficacy of Prism Therapy for PSP), but these items may not necessarily reflect the activities that are important to people with PSP and we need more qualitative feedback on what is important to the users. Following some very helpful discussion with the NHS Research Design Service we were awarded for £250 to fund some patient-public involvement work to help guide the development of this project. The grant will help us get a feel for the kinds of questions we should be asking and what activites are important to people with PSP (e.g. do they prefer to train to use prisms for reading or for mobility?), which will influence the design of future research projects. This latter question is also important because we already know from our work on rehabilitation of heminaopia that training needs to be task specific (e.g. Aimola et al., 2014; Lane et al., 2010), so it will be useful to understand which tasks shuold be prioritised for training. We’re planning to run the activities in May/June with Dr Uma Nath in Sunderland and the RDS, and in the longer term this PPI work will form the basis for a grant application to systematically evaluate study the efficacy of prism glasses as a treatment for PSP.
Aimola, Lina and Lane, Alison R. and Smith, Daniel T. and Kerkhoff, Georg and Ford, Gary A. and Schenk, Thomas (2014) ‘Efficacy and feasibility of home-based training for individuals with homonymous visual field defects.’, Neurorehabilitation and neural repair., 28 (3). pp. 207-218.