Date of Award
Master of Arts
Daniel J. Rouchie
Jeanne M. Donovan
This survey was designed to study the characteristics and objectives of optometric visual therapy and orthoptics, ophthalmological visual therapy and orthoptics, and from the resulting information study the two disciplines comparatively. One hundred questionnaires were sent to a random sample of optometrists and one hundred identical questionnaires sent to a random sample of ophthalmologists . The questionnaire was designed to elicit information concerning the number of referrals for visual therapy or orthoptics made by each professional group, the types of disorders and visual disturbances recognized as legitimate objectives of visual therapy or orthoptics by each group, and the types or results each professional group hoped to achieve.
Since a great debate rages in the literature between the two groups of eye-care professionals regarding the efficacy and value of the visual therapy offered by each, this researcher felt that before further study could answer questions for the educator regarding effects of treatment upon academic achievement., a clarification of the characteristics and desired outcomes of each type of therapy was in order.
Of the two hundred questionnaires mailed, forty-three (22%) responses were received. Using the data from these forty-three responses, three null hypotheses regarding the characteristics and objectives of ophthalmological and optometric visual training and orthoptics were tested. The x2 technique for testing independence was applied to the data after it was categorized on contingency tables.
All three null hypotheses were rejected in favor of the following alternate hypotheses:
- The number of referrals made for visual therapy and orthoptics is dependent upon the professional status of ophthalmologist or optometrist.
- The type of visual disturbances recognized as legitimate objectives of visual therapy or orthoptics is dependent upon professional status.
- The desired outcome of visual therapy or orthoptics is dependent upon professional status.
It was inferred from the data that more optometrists make referrals for visual therapy and orthoptics than do ophthalmologists. It was also concluded that while opinions vary widely regarding certain types of visual disturbances recognized as legitimate objectives of therapy, there is agreement between the two professions that fusion and fusional vergence is a legitimate objective. It was further concluded that the two professions are in significant disagreement regarding academic improvement as a desired outcome of visual therapy or orthoptics.
Bueneman, Wanda, "A Survey Comparing the Characteristics and Objectives of Optometric Visual Therapy and Orthoptics and Opthalmoloigcal Visual Therapy and Orthoptics" (1982). Theses. 191.
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