People with homonymous visual field defects (HVFD) often report difficulty detecting obstacles in the periphery on their blind side in time when moving around. Recently, a randomized controlled trial showed that the InSight-Hemianopia Compensatory Scanning Training (IH-CST) specifically improved detection of peripheral stimuli and avoiding obstacles when moving around, especially in dual task situations.
The within-group training effects of the previously reported IH-CST are examined in an extended patient group. Performance of patients with HVFD on a pre-assessment, postassessment and follow-up assessment and performance of a healthy control group are compared. Furthermore, it is examined whether training effects can be predicted by demographic characteristics, variables related to the visual disorder, and neuropsychological test results.
Performance on both subjective and objective measures of mobility-related scanning was improved after training, while no evidence was found for improvement in visual functions (including visual fields), reading, visual search and dot counting. Self-reported improvement did not correlate with improvement in objective mobility performance. According to the participants, the positive effects were still present six to ten months after training. No demographic characteristics, variables related to the visual disorder, and neuropsychological test results were found to predict the size of training effect, although some inconclusive evidence was found for more improvement in patients with left-sided HVFD than in patients with right-sided HFVD.
Further support was found for a positive effect of IH-CST on detection of visual stimuli during mobility-related activities specifically. Based on the reports given by patients, these effects appear to be long-term effects. However, no conclusions can be drawn on the objective long-term training effects.