224.000 euro ZonMw Grant for research about diagnosing and treating Post-Traumatic stress disorder in visually impaired adults

224.000 euro ZonMw Grant for research about diagnosing and treating Post-Traumatic stress disorder in visually impaired adults

Project leader Hilde van der Aa (postdoc researcher at the VUmc department of Ophthalmology) has received a 224.000 ZonMw Grant in the program Long-term Care. The title of the project is: Exploring tailored strategies for diagnosing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults with visual impairment: based on participatory action research. Other APH researchers who are involved in this project are: Ruth van Nispen, Ger van Rens, Hannie Comijs and Guy WIddershoven.

This study aims to investigate the association between visual impairment and PTSD. People with visual impairment are more susceptible to a variety of risks or hazards, e.g. repeated accidents or violations of autonomy, that could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, coping with such events may be more difficult because visual impressions are the key modality to do this, e.g. to orientate in emergency situations, assess potential risks, and secure one’s own safety. Moreover, standard protocols and guidelines on diagnosing and treating PTSD are less appropriate for people with visual impairment.

The study aims to develop a directive which determines tailored and feasible strategies to diagnose and treat PTSD in adults (≥ 18 years) with visual impairment. A qualitative study according to the principles of Participatory Action Research, in which clients and professionals participate as co-researchers, will be performed based on a Community of Practice, literature review, semi-structured interviews with clients and focus group meetings with professionals from low vision rehabilitation organizations.