Journal of the Nigerian Optometric Association. Vol 21, No 1 (2019):19-25

An Insight into the Explored and the Unexplored Aspects of Vision Rehabilitation in Nigeria: A Systematic Review of Literature
P.E. Okonji, L.T. Kanu

Purpose: There is paucity of research on rehabilitation of visually impaired persons in Nigeria. A myriad of gap in knowledge exist in what rehabilitation options are available, priority areas for rehabilitation, as well as important themes in rehabilitation research. Thus, the aim of the review is to highlight predominant areas of research concern and consequently, reflect and discuss the neglected aspects of vision rehabilitation.Methods: The following databases were accessed: Medline PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane Databases of Systematic reviews, Web of Science, AFROLIB, SCOPUS, Embase, EBSCO Africa-wide Information, and MEDLIB. Other databases accessed incclude Google Scholar, Google, and African Journals Online (AJOL).Keywords used included: Visual impairment, low vision rehabilitation in Nigeria, visual disability, blindness, rehabilitation of blind, vision rehabilitation, visual rehabilitation in Nigeria, adaptation to visual impairment.Results: From the accessible databases, 87 articles related to rehabilitation of people with blindness and low vision in Nigeria were found; of these, only 16 articles met the inclusion criteria set for this review (vision rehabilitation studies conducted between 2000 and 2018). The findings reveal that much of the research on vision rehabilitation in Nigeria focused mainly on vocational and formal education rehabilitation to enhance opportunities for paid employment, independence and stakeholders involvement.Conclusion: Research on the emotional needs of visually impaired individuals is scarce and relatively given litile or no attention. Vision care practitioners and researchers need to pay special attention to the emotional rehabilitation needs of visually impaired persons.Keywords: Visual disability, blindness, rehabilitation of blind, vision rehabilitation, visual rehabilitation in Nigeria.

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