Predicting Outcomes of Visual Scanning Training in Visuospatial Neglect Patients: Who will Benefit?
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Visuospatial neglect (VSN) is a common cognitive disorder following stroke. Visual scanning training (VST) is the most frequently used treatment for VSN in clinical practice. However, not all VSN patients seem to benefit from VST. Therefore, the overarching aim of the current study was to gain insight into factors that influenced VSN symptoms over time during a VST trajectory. To investigate the overall aim, three subgoals were established. The first subgoal of the study was to explore participant characteristics influencing VST outcome. The second subgoal was to investigate performance on static compared to dynamic tests. The third subgoal was to investigate VSN symptoms over time. VSN symptoms were measured at baseline (T0), after the ninth training session (T1), and at one week (T2) and three-month follow-up (T3). Both static (i.e. Star cancellation, Line Bisection test) and dynamic (i.e. Catherine Bergego Scale (CBS), Computerized Visual Detection Task (CVDT)) tests were used to measure VSN symptoms. 18 chronic stroke patients participated in the study. Participants performed a six-week VST, three times a week, 40 minutes per session. Group, educational level, months since stroke, and time did not predict VST outcome. Higher age and better MoCA performance were related to better VST outcomes. No difference was found between performance on static compared to dynamic tests. VST symptoms did not change significantly over time. Results of the study should be taken into account with caution due to a lack of generalizability of the sample. Further research is necessary before the application of the current findings into clinical practice.